Background: Fatigue and sleep disturbance are common co-occurring symptoms in patients receiving chemotherapy. While the results from meta-analyses support the use of exercise to decrease the severity of these symptoms, information is needed on patients’ “real world experiences” with the use of exercise. Objective: The aims of this study were to determine distribution of patients who did and did not exercise on a regular basis and evaluate for differences in demographic and clinical characteristics, as well as the severity of fatigue, decrements in energy, and sleep disturbance among the exercise groups. Methods: Patients (n = 1033) completed self-report questionnaires prior to their second or third cycle of chemotherapy. Patients were categorized into 3 exercise (Ex) groups (ie, NoEx, <150 min/wk [LessEx]; ≥150 min/wk [RecEx]). Differences among the groups were evaluated using parametric and nonparametric tests. Results: Only 19.1% of the patients were in the RecEx group. Patients in the NoEx group (37.2%) had fewer years of education, were more likely to be non-White and unemployed, had a higher body mass index, and a worse comorbidity profile. Patients in the NoEx group had higher levels of morning fatigue, lower levels of morning and evening energy, and higher levels of sleep disturbance. Conclusions: Findings from this real-world study suggest that lack of physical activity is associated with higher levels of fatigue and sleep disturbance. Implications for Practice: Given that the most frequently used intervention in this study was walking, clinicians can recommend this inexpensive intervention to patients to manage fatigue and sleep disturbance.
- Decrements in energy
- Sleep disturbance
- Antineoplastic Agents/adverse effects
- Sleep Wake Disorders/etiology
ASJC Scopus subject areas