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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2006 March;46(1):122-7


language: English

Cardiorespiratory fitness in relation to self-reported physical function in cancer patients after chemotherapy

Thorsen L. 1, Nystad W. 2, Stigum H. 2, Hjermstad M. 3, Oldervoll L. 4, Martinsen E. W. 5, Hornslien K. 6, Strømme S. B. 7, Dahl A. A. 8, Fosså S. D. 8

1 Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Rehabilitation The Norwegian Radium Hospital, Oslo, Norway 2 Division of Epidemiology, Norwegian Institute for Public Health Oslo, Norway 3 Department of Behavioural Sciences in Medicine University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway 4 Unit for Applied Clinical Research, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway 5 The Research Institute, Modum Bad, Vikersund, Norway 6 Department of Oncology, Oslo City Hospital, Oslo, Norway 7 Norwegian University of Sport and Physical Education Oslo, Norway 8 Department of Clinical Cancer Research, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, Oslo, Norway


Aim. The aim of this study was to estimate the association between objective cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and subjective self-reported physical function, taking into account the influence of mental distress. We hypothesized an association between these parameters, since they might be thought to measure parts of the same phenomenon.
Methods. Approximately 1 month after discontinuation of all primary treatment, 90 cancer patients aged 18-50 years treated with chemotherapy were surveyed. CRF was determined by the Åstrand-Ryhming indirect cycle ergometer test, which indicate peak V.O2 in mL.kg-1.min-1 (predicted V.O2max). Self-reported physical function was assessed by The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Core Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30). The relation between V.O2max and self-reported physical function was estimated by multiple linear regression. Mental distress (assessed by The Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale), age, gender, body mass index (BMI), time from treatment to physical test and diagnoses were included as potential confounders.
Results. There was no association between predicted V.O2max and self-reported physical function. Mental distress was negatively associated with self-reported physical function (P<0.001), but is not associated with predicted V.O2max.
Conclusion. The results suggest that predicted V.O2max does not reflect self-reported physical function and vice versa in cancer patients after chemotherapy. If information about cardiac and/or pulmonary status is required, direct or indirect measures of V.O2max should be used.

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