Nausea at the End of Adjuvant Cancer Treatment in Relation to Exercise During Treatment in Patients With Breast Cancer

Jiyeon Lee

Marylin Dodd

Suzanne L. Dibble

Donald I. Abrams

exercise, breast cancer treatment
ONF 2008, 35(5), 830-835. DOI: 10.1188/08.ONF.830-835

Purpose/Objectives: To evaluate the relationship between nausea and exercise during and after adjuvant cancer treatment (chemotherapy and radiation therapy or chemotherapy alone).

Design: Secondary data analysis from a longitudinal, single-blinded, three-arm, randomized controlled trial. The trial failed to show a significant effect of an exercise intervention on nausea control (by intent to treat analysis); therefore, patients were analyzed together to evaluate the relationship between nausea and actual exercise behavior.

Setting: Outpatient cancer treatment clinics.

Sample: 112 female patients with breast cancer who were receiving adjuvant cancer treatment.

Methods: Actual exercise behavior-based analysis was conducted with nausea intensity and the participant's exercise status measured three times during and after adjuvant cancer treatment. Participants were considered exercisers if actual exercise behaviors corresponded to the recommendation of the American College of Sports Medicine: aerobic exercise at a minimum of moderate intensity, 20 minutes per session, and three times per week. Mann-Whitney U tests evaluated the difference in nausea intensity depending on actual exercise status.

Main Research Variables: Nausea intensity and exercise status.

Findings: Exercisers experienced significantly less intense nausea than nonexercisers at the completion of adjuvant cancer treatment.

Conclusions: A moderate level of aerobic exercise is related to less intense nausea at the completion of adjuvant cancer treatment.

Implications for Nursing: A moderate level of aerobic exercise is recommended during adjuvant cancer treatment because of the possibility of reducing nausea intensity as well as alleviating other symptoms from adjuvant cancer treatment.

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