Effects of weight training on quality of life in recent breast cancer survivors

The Weight Training for Breast Cancer Survivors (WTBS) study

Authors

  • Tetsuya Ohira M.D.,

    1. Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
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  • Kathryn H. Schmitz Ph.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    2. Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 423 Guardian Dr., 9th Floor, Blockley Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6021
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    • Fax: (215) 573-2265

  • Rehana L. Ahmed Ph.D.,

    1. Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
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  • Douglas Yee M.D.

    1. University of Minnesota Cancer Center, MMC 806, Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Aerobic exercise training has been shown to have beneficial effects on quality of life (QOL) in breast cancer survivors. However, the effects of weight training on psychological benefits are unknown. We sought to examine the effects of weight training on changes in QOL and depressive symptoms in recent breast cancer survivors.

METHODS

A convenience sample of 86 survivors (4-36 months posttreatment) was randomized into treatment and control groups. The primary outcomes were changes in QOL (CARES short form) and depressive symptoms (CES-D) between baseline and month 6 in this randomized controlled trial.

RESULTS

Over 6 months the physical global QOL score improved in the treatment group compared with the control group (Standardized Difference = 0.62, P = .006). The psychosocial global score also improved significantly in the treatment group compared with the control group (Standardized Difference = 0.52, P = .02). There were no changes in CES-D scores. Increases in upper body strength were correlated with improvements in physical global score (r = 0.32; P <.01) and psychosocial global score (r = 0.30; P <.01). Increases in lean mass were also correlated with improvements in physical global score (r = 0.23; P <.05) and psychosocial global score (r = 0.24; P <.05).

CONCLUSION

Twice-weekly weight training for recent breast cancer survivors may result in improved QOL, in part via changes in body composition and strength. Cancer 2006. © 2006 American Cancer Society.

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