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14.12.2017 | Original Article | Ausgabe 6/2018

Supportive Care in Cancer 6/2018

A hospital and home-based exercise program to address functional decline in people following allogeneic stem cell transplantation

Supportive Care in Cancer > Ausgabe 6/2018
S. Abo, D. Ritchie, L. Denehy, Y. Panek-Hudson, L. Irving, C. L. Granger



The aims of this study are to investigate the feasibility of an exercise program commencing 60 days following allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT), to investigate changes in physical function and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients from pre- to post-alloSCT and to explore changes in patient outcomes before and after the program.


This study is a single site, prospective case series including 43 adults undergoing alloSCT. The intervention was an 8-week outpatient and home-based exercise and education program. Outcomes included feasibility (consent, attendance, compliance and completion rates), functional exercise capacity (incremental shuttle walk test), muscle strength (hand-held dynamometry), self-efficacy for physical activity (Physical Activity Assessment Inventory) and HRQoL (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Bone Marrow Transplant). Outcomes were measured pre-alloSCT, 60 days post-alloSCT (pre-intervention) and 100 days post-alloSCT (post-intervention).


The consent rate was 93%. From baseline to 60 days post-alloSCT, there was significant decline in functional exercise capacity (mean difference 224 m, 95% CI 153–295, p < 0.0005), self-efficacy for physical activity (294 points, 95% CI 136–452, p = 0.001) and HRQoL (15 points, 95% CI 8–21, p < 0.0005). Ten participants did not commence the exercise program due to death (n = 5), illness (n = 1) or cancellation of alloSCT (n = 4). The intervention was feasible in those not affected by major medical complications or death. No adverse events occurred. From pre- to post-intervention, there was significant improvement in functional exercise capacity (p = 0.001) and HRQoL (p = 0.001).


AlloSCT results in significant decline in functional exercise capacity, self-efficacy for physical activity and HRQoL, which may be improved through an exercise program. This pilot demonstrated safety, feasibility and high patient interest. Further randomised research is required.

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