• breast cancer;
  • chemotherapy;
  • home-based exercise;
  • mood;
  • physical activity;
  • symptom

yang c.-y., tsai j.-c., huang y.-c. & lin c.-c. (2010) Effects of a home-based walking program on perceived symptom and mood status in postoperative breast cancer women receiving adjuvant chemotherapy. Journal of Advanced Nursing67(1), 158–168.


Aim.  This paper is a report of a study analysing the effect of a home-based walking exercise program on symptoms and mood distress among breast cancer women receiving chemotherapy postoperatively.

Background.  Treatment-related symptoms, mood distress and decline in physical activity have been identified as major complaints among cancer patients. Studies on the efficacy of home-based walking exercise for symptoms and mood did not fully describe the exercise prescriptions that could be safe and beneficial for women with breast cancer, especially these receiving adjuvant chemotherapy.

Method.  This is a prospective, randomized clinical trial. In 2008–2009, participants were recruited from the oncology outpatient clinic of a medical center in Taiwan, and were assigned to either the exercise group (n = 19) or the control group (n = 21). Women in the exercise group participated in a moderate-intensity home-based walking program for 12 weeks during their chemotherapy treatments. Symptoms, mood status and physical activity level were measured at baseline, 6- and 12-week follow-up. Data were analysed by two-way repeated-measures analysis of variance.

Results.  Women in the exercise group reported significantly lower symptom severity scores and mood disturbance compared with those in the control group throughout the study period.

Conclusion.  Regular moderate-intensity exercise can play an important role in improving treatment-related symptoms and mood in women with breast cancer. A home-based walking exercise program can be easily incorporated into care for women with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy.