The Effects of Resistance Training on Physical Function and Quality of Life in Breast Cancer Survivors

  • Simonavice E
  • Liu P
  • Ilich J
  • et al.
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Breast cancer survivors (BCS) exhibit decreased physical function and quality of life (QOL) following cancer treatments. Resistance training (RT) may elicit positive changes in physical and mental well-being. This study assessed 27 BCS, pre-and post-intervention (six months) on the following variables: muscular strength (via one repetition maximum (1RM) of chest press and leg extension), physical function (via the Continuous Scale-Physical Functional Performance test) and QOL (via the Short Form-36 survey). RT consisted of two days/week of ten exercises including two sets of 8–12 repetitions at 52%–69% of their 1RM. A repeated measures analysis of variance revealed BCS significantly (p < 0.05) increased upper (71 ± 22 to 89 ± 22 kg) and lower body (74 ± 18 to 93 ± 24 kg) strength, total physical function (65.5 ± 12.1 to 73.6 ± 12.2 units) and the subcomponents of physical function: upper body strength (63.5 ± 16.3 to 71.2 ± 16.8 units), lower body strength (58.5 ± 14.9 to 68.6 ± 16.3 units), balance and coordination (66.5 ± 12.2 to 74.6 ± 11.6 units), and endurance (67.2 ± 12.0 to 75.0 ± 11.6 units). No changes were observed over time for subjective measures of physical function and QOL. Results showed RT could be an effective means to improve objective physical function in BCS. Further research is needed to clarify the effects of RT on subjective physical function and QOL.




Simonavice, E., Liu, P.-Y., Ilich, J., Kim, J.-S., Arjmandi, B., & Panton, L. (2015). The Effects of Resistance Training on Physical Function and Quality of Life in Breast Cancer Survivors. Healthcare, 3(3), 695–709.

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