The aim of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of a multidisciplinary rehabilitation program in the treatment of breast cancer survivors in an outpatient rehabilitation clinic.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
Eighty seven breast cancer patients began a rehabilitation program based on physical exercise. Baseline parameters were compared for patients who had received chemotherapy (YES=66) and patients who had not received chemotherapy (NO=21). Data on physical fitness, body mass index and lean mass, quality of life and Beck’s Depression Inventory in breast cancer patients were compared before (T0) and after (T1) a 16-week, twice-weekly standardised rehabilitation program.
At baseline, there were no statistical differences for all parameters between patients who had received chemotherapy and those who had not. Sixty one out of eighty seven patients completed the program. There was a significant increase in physical fitness parameters, at 50 Watt HR (p=0.038) with lactic acid (p=0.020) decreased and at 75 Watt HR (p=0.010) with LA (p=0.001) decreased. Body mass index did not change significantly (p=0.239) but there was a strong correlation with increase in lean mass (p<0.001). Quality of life and Beck’s Depression Inventory improved significantly (p<0.001) and there was a correlation between improvement in quality of life and improvement in submaximal physical fitness (p=0.005).
This analysis shows correlations between the statistically significant benefit of a multidisciplinary rehabilitation program on physical fitness, depression symptoms and quality of life.