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Gazzetta Medica Italiana - Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2019 June;178(6):444-51

DOI: 10.23736/S0393-3660.18.03835-4


language: English

Self-reported active lifestyle behavior and upper limb disability in breast cancer survivors following a structured adapted physical activity intervention

Daniela MIRANDOLA 1, Marco MONACI 1, Guido MICCINESI 2, Maria G. MURACA 3, Stefania BELARDI 1, Roberta GIUGGIOLI 1, Eleonora SGAMBATI 4, Mirko MANETTI 1, Mirca MARINI 1

1 Section of Anatomy and Histology, Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy; 2 Unit of Clinical Epidemiology, Cancer Prevention and Research Institute (ISPO), Florence, Italy; 3 Cancer Prevention and Research Institute (ISPO), Cancer Rehabilitation Center (Ce.Ri.On.), Florence, Italy; 4 Department of Biosciences and Territory, University of Molise, Pesche, Isernia, Italy

BACKGROUND: Adapted physical activity (APA) may improve the health outcomes of breast cancer (BC) survivors. However, knowledge about either longitudinal benefits on shoulder mobility and quality of life (QoL) or physical activity maintenance among survivors after APA interventions remains limited. Here, we evaluated the maintenance of a physically active lifestyle in BC survivors post-APA intervention and possible implications in preserving longitudinally the physical and mental benefits achieved with APA.
METHODS: Nine months after ending a supervised APA protocol, BC survivors were interviewed on their participation in regular physical activity, drop-out reasons and surgical shoulder-arm symptoms, using a structured questionnaire. At 1.5-year post-APA follow-up, survivors were again evaluated as at baseline/post-APA by fitness tests (shoulder-arm mobility, range of motion, back flexibility) and Short Form-12 and numerical rating scale questionnaires to assess QoL and back and surgical shoulder pain intensity, respectively. Questionnaires on physical activity participation and upper limb function (QuickDASH) were also administered.
RESULTS: Our findings indicated that long-term practice of physical activity was poorly maintained among BC survivors resulting in overall decrease in post-APA achieved benefits. Generalized physical activities do not seem appropriate to improve upper limb disability secondary to BC treatments.
CONCLUSIONS: The practice of general physical activity by BC survivors seems not able to preserve over time the physical and mental benefits achieved following a structured APA intervention. Further studies should address whether such benefits could be maintained or even improved when adapted fitness is properly continued post-APA.

KEY WORDS: Breast neoplasms; Survivorship; Quality of life; Upper limb disability

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