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The influence of a supervised group exercise intervention combined with active lifestyle recommendations on breast cancer survivors' health, physical functioning, and quality of life indices: a randomized and controlled trial

Grant number: 20/12514-2
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: February 01, 2022 - January 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Physical Education
Principal Investigator:Patricia Chakur Brum
Grantee:Patricia Chakur Brum
Host Institution: Escola de Educação Física e Esporte (EEFE). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers:Carlos Ugrinowitsch ; Cláudia Lúcia de Moraes Forjaz


Most cancer patients, under active treatment or not, are sedentary, despite increasing scientific and clinical understanding of the benefits that exercise and physical activity can have, such as improving quality of life, limiting disease symptoms, decreasing cancer recurrence, and increasing overall survival. Studies have shown that both supervised exercise and unsupervised physical activity programs have low adherence and limited long-term benefits among cancer survivors. Therefore, interventions focused on increasing physical activity levels have clinical and psychological relevance. The present study will examine the feasibility and efficacy of an intervention that combines supervised group exercise with active lifestyle recommendations, analyzing its clinical, psychological, physiological, functional, and immunological effects in breast cancer survivors. Women aged 35-75 years who have completed chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery for breast cancer will be recruited from the Cancer Institute of the State of São Paulo (ICESP) and take part in a 16-week, parallel-group, randomized and controlled trial. They will receive a booklet with recommendations for achieving a physically active lifestyle by increasing overall daily movement and undertaking at least 150 min/week of structured exercise. Then, they will be randomized into two groups: the supervised group will take part in two canoeing group exercise sessions every week; and the unsupervised group will increase their overall physical activity level by any means, such as active commuting, daily activities or home-based exercise. Primary outcomes include aerobic capacity, physical activity, physical functioning, and self-reported quality of life. Secondary outcomes are fatigue, presence of lymphedema, body composition, immune function, adherence to physical activity guidelines, and perceptions of self-image. Results should contribute to advance knowledge on the impact of a supervised group exercise intervention to improve aspects related to health, physical functioning, and quality of life in female breast cancer survivors. (AU)

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