Author(s): Salakari MR, Surakka T, Nurminen R, Pylkknen L
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Abstract BACKGROUND: In parallel with the rising incidence of cancer and improved treatment, there is a continuous increase in the number of patients living with cancer as a chronic condition. Many cancer patients experience long-term disability and require continuous oncological treatment, care and support. The aim of this review is to evaluate the most recent data on the effects of rehabilitation among patients with advanced cancer. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A systematic review was conducted according to Fink's model. Only randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in 2009-2014 were included. Medline/PubMed and Cochrane databases were searched; five groups of keywords were used. The articles were evaluated for outcome and methodological quality. RESULTS: Thirteen RCTs (1169 participants) were evaluated. Most studies were on the effects of physical exercise in patients with advanced cancer (N = 7). Physical exercise was associated with a significant improvement in general wellbeing and quality of life. Rehabilitation had positive effects on fatigue, general condition, mood, and coping with cancer. CONCLUSIONS: Rehabilitation is needed also among patients with advanced disease and in palliative care. Exercise improves physical performance and has positive effects on several other quality of life domains. More data and RCTs are needed, but current evidence gives an indication that rehabilitation is suitable and can be recommended for patients living with advanced cancer.
This article was published in Acta Oncol
and referenced in Journal of Carcinogenesis & Mutagenesis