An exercise intervention for breast cancer survivors with bone loss

Twiss JJ, Waltman NL, Berg K, Ott CD, Gross GJ, Lindsey AM.

The purpose of this study was to determine if 110 postmenopausal breast cancer survivors (BCS) with bone loss who participated in 24 months of strength and weight training (ST) exercises had improved muscle strength and balance and had fewer falls compared to BCS who did not exercise; and to describe type and frequency of ST exercises; adverse effects of exercises; and participants' adherence to exercises at home, at fitness centers, and at 36-month follow up. Mean adherence over 24 months was 69.4%. Using generalized estimating equation (GEE) analyses, compared to participants not exercising, participants who exercised for 24 months had significantly muscle strength and balance. Women who exercised had fewer falls, but difference in number of falls between the two groups was not significant.

Many postmenopausal BCS with bone loss can adhere to a 24 month ST exercise intervention, and exercises can result in meaningful gains in muscle strength and balance. More studies are needed for examining relationships between muscle strength and balance in postmenopausal BCS with bone loss and their incidence of falls and fractures.

J Nurs Scholarsh. 2009, 41(1), 20-7

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