• breast cancer;
  • chemotherapy;
  • designed exercise programme;
  • quality of life

Scand J Caring Sci; 2010; 24; 251–258 The effect of designed exercise programme on quality of life in women with breast cancer receiving chemotherapy

Aim and objective:  The researchers sought to investigate the effect of a designed exercise programme on the quality of life (QOL) in women with breast cancer receiving chemotherapy.

Background:  Regarding the destructive effects of breast cancer and chemotherapy on women’s lifestyle and well-being, health-care providers have the responsibility of searching for effective and safe programmes in order to bring an improvement to the patients’ QOL.

Methods:  In a quasi-experimental design, 56 women with breast cancer receiving chemotherapy in an Iranian cancer institution were chosen; and then divided into two control and experiment groups consisting of 28 participants each. The patients in the experiment group followed a designed exercise programme characterized with daily physical exercises, 3–5 days per week, which lasted for 9 weeks. The Quality of Life-Breast Cancer (QOL-BC) questionnaire was employed to measure the participants’ QOL in physical, emotional and social dimensions before and after the intervention. Descriptive and inferential statistics were utilized for data analysis.

Results:  No significant differences were found in the QOL dimensions between two groups before the manipulation; but significant differences in physical (p = 0.004), emotional (p = 0.01), social (p = 0.02) and spiritual (p = 0.45) dimensions as well as the total QOL (p = 0.003) after the intervention, were indicative of the effectiveness of the programme.

Conclusion:  Based on the study findings, it is recommended that this programme can be employed as an effective means of improving the QOL among patients with breast cancer.