Maximum physical capacity testing in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy: qualitative findings from an exercise program

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

BACKGROUND: Over the past few years there has been a growing interest in the field of physical exercise in rehabilitation of cancer patients, leading to requirements for objective maximum physical capacity measurement (maximum oxygen uptake (VO(2max)) and one-repetition maximum (1RM)) to determine dose-response levels in different cancer diagnoses.

AIM: To explore the patients' experiences of maximum physical capacity testing while concurrently undergoing chemotherapy and participating in a 6-week, 9 h weekly multidimensional exercise program.

DESIGN AND METHOD: Prospective, exploratory study using semi-structured qualitative interviews conducted prior to and at termination of the program. The study included 100 patients (18-65 years, median 42 years) with or without residual disease and with mixed diagnoses.

RESULTS: Following the intervention, cancer patients felt significantly safer in performing maximum physical capacity tests as these motivated them through self-perceived competitiveness and set a standard that served to encourage peak performance.

CONCLUSION: The positive attitudes in this sample towards maximum physical capacity open the possibility of introducing physical testing early in the treatment process. However, the patients were self-referred and thus highly motivated and as such are not necessarily representative of the whole population of cancer patients treated with chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)403-11
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006

    Research areas

  • Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Antineoplastic Agents, Exercise, Exercise Tolerance, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Motivation, Muscle Strength, Neoplasms, Oxygen Consumption, Prospective Studies, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

ID: 179127365