A Randomized Study of the Effect of Tai Chi Chuan Compared to a Structured Exercise Program on Parameters of Physical Fitness and Stress in Adult Cancer Survivors
Diagnosis and treatment for cancer represent a major life-time stressor for any patient.
While the diagnosis of a life-threatening illness is stressful, undergoing treatment for
cancer including surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy result in stress to the patient. In
addition, cancer treatment frequently is associated with fatigue, physical de-conditioning
and metabolic abnormalities characteristic of the metabolic syndrome, leading to
speculations that cancer therapy may render survivors more prone to developing metabolic
syndrome and its sequelae, cardiovascular disease. In a recently conducted study we detected
a high incidence of hyperlipidemia and increased body fat content, decreased aerobic
performance and musculoskeletal functioning and a high frequency of parameters of
psychological distress in long-term survivors of pediatric sarcoma. Based on these data and
findings, it appears desirable to devise a program that would help cancer survivors not only
to improve musculoskeletal functioning and aerobic performance, as a physical exercise
program would offer, but in addition relieve psychological stress and enhance the well-being
of cancer survivors after completion of treatment with multimodality therapy. Tai Chi Chuan
(TCC) has been used in Asian culture for centuries to improve wellness, reduce stress, and
to promote healing by improving the flow of Qi. While a number of studies have provided
scientific support for these claims in different populations, a beneficial role for TCC in
the management of cancer survivors has not been established.
This study aims to compare in a randomized, wait-list controlled design, the efficacy of TCC
to an exercise program in improving aerobic exercise capacity and endurance, reducing stress
and improving Quality of Life in adult survivors of malignant solid tumors.
Primary Purpose: Treatment
In adult solid cancer survivors, to determine that the TCC arm will have a larger reduction in psychological stress measured by the Perceived Stress Scale compared to the aerobic exercise and wait-list arms.
United States: Federal Government
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