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Title: Does walking protect against decline in cognitive functioning among breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy? Results from a small randomised controlled trial
Authors: Gokal, Kajal
Munir, Fehmidah
Ahmed, Samreen
Kancherla, Kiran
Wallis, Deborah
First Published: 28-Nov-2018
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Citation: PLoS ONE, 2019, 13 (11). e0206874
Abstract: Background Cancer related cognitive impairments have been subjectively reported and objectively detected in breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy and are known to have a profound negative impact on productivity, psychosocial well-being and overall quality of life. Moderate levels of walking are known to be of benefit to the psychosocial well-being of those affected by breast cancer and for managing cognitive impairment in healthy adults, children, and the elderly. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of a home-based, self-managed, moderate intensity walking intervention on subjective and objective cognitive functioning in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Methods A home-based, self-managed intervention that consisted of moderate levels of walking was compared to usual care among breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy in a randomised controlled trial. Outcome measures included changes in subjective (CFQ) and objectively detected cognitive functioning (Stroop, SART and two subscales from the WAIS- Digit Span and Block Design). Fifty participants were randomised to either the intervention group (n = 25), who completed 12 weeks of moderate intensity walking, or to the control group (n = 25) mid-way through chemotherapy. Results Compared with the control group, the self-managed walking intervention had positive effects on perceived cognitive function but not on sustained attention, executive function, memory or visual spatial skills when assessed objectively using neuropsychological measures. Conclusion This home-based, self-managed intervention is beneficial for protecting against perceived cognitive decline in breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy. There is a need for further research to objectively assess cognitive decline within this population with larger sample sizes of patients. Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN50709297
DOI Link: 10.1371/journal.pone.0206874
ISSN: 1932-6203
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2018. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Description: Data are available from the Open Science Framework (OSF) repository. DOI 10.17605/OSF.IO/79PT6.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine

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