"Use of DVD Instruction for Home-Based Strength Training among Post-Operative Breast Cancer Survivors"

This study assessed the safety and effectiveness of a home-based strength training program administered via DVD instruction among post-operative breast cancer (BCa) patients. BCa patients who were 4 weeks to 2 years post-surgery were randomly assigned to one of two 12-week interventions: twice weekly DVD-based strength training or weekly health education DVD viewing. Upper body strength was evaluated using a one-repetition maximum chest press. Arm circumference, lymphedema symptoms, measures of pain, quality of life (QOL), and adherence also were assessed. Significant improvements in upper body strength, shoulder abduction of the affected arm, and psychological distress were found among strength training participants. Health education participants showed significantly greater QOL improvements in fatigue-related disruption (p=0.013), general QOL (p=0.011), and physical and emotional functioning role limitations. No adverse events were reported from either interventon. This pilot study suggests that home-based strength training administered via DVD instruction is a safe and effective option for BCa patients seeking to improve their upper body strength, shoulder abduction, and distress post-surgery. BCa patients who prefer to exercise at home after BCa surgery may be encouraged by their healthcare providers to engage in home-based strength training using DVD instruction, and may find additional QOL- related benefits from watching health education DVDs. Manuscript is in preparation. This study was funded by the Braman Breast Cancer Institute.