Association Between Physical Activity Levels and Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy Severity in Cancer Survivors

Anna Wilcoxon

Kord M. Kober

Carol Viele

Kimberly Topp

Betty Smoot

Gary M. Abrams

Margaret Chesney

Steven M. Paul

Yvette P. Conley

Jon D. Levine

Christine Miaskowski

chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, exercise, chemotherapy, gait, balance
ONF 2020, 47(6), 703-719. DOI: 10.1188/20.ONF.703-719

Objectives: To evaluate for differences in demographic and clinical characteristics, as well as subjective and objective measures of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), among different exercise groups.

Sample & Setting: Cancer survivors (N = 290) were recruited from throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Methods & Variables: Based on the recommended 150 minutes or more of exercise per week, survivors were classified into the no exercise (NoEx), less exercise (LessEx), or recommended exercise (RecEx) group. Survivors completed self-report questionnaires and underwent sensory and balance testing.

Results: Compared to the RecEx group, survivors in the NoEx group had less education, were less likely to be married/partnered, had a lower household income, had a higher level of comorbidity, and had poorer functional status. No differences were found among the groups in CIPN duration; pain intensity scores; or changes in light touch, cold, and pain sensations.

Implications for Nursing: Clinicians can recommend walking as a therapeutic option for survivors with CIPN and refer them to physical therapy.

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