Impact of a home-based walking intervention on outcomes of sleep quality, emotional distress, and fatigue in patients undergoing treatment for solid tumors

Jennifer A. Wenzel, Kathleen A. Griffith, Jingjing Shang, Carol B. Thompson, Haley Hedlin, Kerry J. Stewart, Theodore Deweese, Victoria Mock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose. Exercise use among patients with cancer has been shown to have many benefits and few notable risks. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of a home-based walking intervention during cancer treatment on sleep quality, emotional distress, and fatigue. Methods. A total of 138 patients with prostate (55.6%), breast (32.5%), and other solid tumors (11.9%) were randomized to a home-based walking intervention or usual care. Exercise dose was assessed using a five-item subscale of the Cooper Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study Physical Activity Questionnaire. Primary outcomes of sleep quality, distress, and fatigue were compared between the two study arms. Results. Theexercise group (n=68) reportedmorevigor (p=.03) thancontrolgroupparticipants (n=58). Indose response models, greaterparticipationinaerobicexercisewasassociatedwith11% less fatigue (p<.001), 7.5% more vigor (p=.001), and 3% less emotional distress (p=.03), after controlling for intervention group assignment, age, and baseline exercise and fatigue levels. Conclusion. Patients who exercised during cancer treatment experienced less emotional distress than those who were less active. Increasing exercise was also associated with less fatigue and more vigor. Home-based walking is a simple, sustainable strategy thatmaybehelpful in improving anumberof symptoms encountered by patients undergoing active treatment for cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)476-484
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 8 2013



  • Cancer treatment
  • Emotional distress
  • Exercise
  • Fatigue
  • Vigor
  • Walking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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