Eileen Danaher Hacker, PhD, APN, AOCN, Funded Projects
Exercise in Cancer Patients Receiving Intensive Therapy
Funding Source: National Institute of Nursing Research
Dates: 5/16/05 – 4/30/09
Co-Investigators: Janet Larson, Edward Wang
Abstract: The aim of this Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01) is to provide the applicant with the skills and knowledge necessary to develop and test exercise interventions to promote symptom management and quality of life in cancer patients receiving intensive therapy. Specific career objectives are to: 1) study exercise physiology to develop and test exercise interventions that can be implemented in cancer patients receiving intensive therapy, 2) study health promotion theories, such as self-efficacy theory, as a means to enhance exercise adherence in cancer patients, and 3) gain knowledge and research skills in randomized clinical trial methodology. A two-phase research study is proposed. In phase I of the study, the exercise intervention will be implemented in a small group of autologous stem cell transplant patients (n=5). The intervention will be pilot tested to determine acceptability and feasibility with respect to the appropriate time for initiating the intervention and intensity of exercise intervention. The strength training intervention will be refined as needed. In Phase II of the study, a 2-group, randomized controlled study (n=20) will be conducted to test the effects of the strength training intervention on the primary outcomes: a) physical activity, and b) muscle strength; and secondary outcomes a) fatigue, b) health status perceptions, and c) quality of life. It is hypothesized that autologous stem cell transplant patients receiving strength training will demonstrate significant improvements in physical activity, muscle strength, fatigue, health status perceptions, and quality of life as compared to autologous stem cell transplant patients who do not receive any type of training. This research will yield valuable information regarding effective interventions aimed at mitigating problems, such as physical inactivity, loss of strength, and fatigue. This information will also be used to increase the likelihood of long-term successful outcomes, such as the ability to maintain or return to productive roles in society and improvement of quality of life in cancer patients receiving intensive therapy.