Improvements in strength and agility measures of functional fitness following a telehealth‑delivered home‑based exercise intervention in endometrial cancer survivors


Purpose Endometrial cancer is strongly linked to obesity and inactivity; however, increased physical activity has important benefits even in the absence of weight loss. Resistance (strength) training can deliver these benefits; yet few women participate in resistance exercise. The purpose of this study was to describe both physiological and functional changes following a home-based strength training intervention. Methods Forty post-treatment endometrial cancer survivors within 5 years of diagnosis were enrolled in a pilot randomized trial, comparing twice-weekly home-based strength exercise to wait list control. Participants conducted the exercises twice per week for 10 supervised weeks with 5 weeks of follow-up. Measures included DXA-measured lean mass, functional fitness assessments, blood biomarkers, and quality of life outcomes. Results On average, participants were 60.9 years old (SD = 8.7) with BMI of 39.9 kg/m2 (SD = 15.2). At baseline, participants had 51.2% (SD = 6.0) body fat, which was not different between groups. Improvements were seen in the 30-s chair sit to stand (d = .99), the 30-s arm curl (d = .91), and the 8-ft up-and-go test (d = .63). No changes were measured for HbA1c or C-reactive protein. No changes were observed for flexibility (chair sit and reach, back scratch tests), 6-min walk test, maximum handgrip test, anxiety, depression, fatigue, or self-efficacy for exercise. Conclusions Home-based muscle-strengthening exercise led to favorable and clinically relevant improvements in 3 of 7 physical function assessments. Physical function, body composition, blood biomarkers, and patient-reported outcomes were feasible to measure. These fitness improvements were observed over a relatively short time frame of 10 weeks.

Supportive Care in Cancer