Palliative care: multimodal physiotherapy reduces fatigue
Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is a common and relevant symptom in patients with advanced cancer that significantly decreases their quality of life.
Fatigue associated with cancer has a complex aetiology. It results from the interaction of 2 factors: those related to the disease itself or its treatment, and reduced physical activity. For this reason, the treatment of CRF should be multi-faceted and include, among others, physiotherapy. The maintenance of physical activity plays an important role in the treatment of fatigue.
The aim of this RCT was to evaluate the effect of a physiotherapy programme on CRF and other symptoms in patients diagnosed with advanced cancer and receiving palliative care.
The 30-min physiotherapy session included active exercises, myofascial release and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) techniques. The control group did not exercise. The outcomes included Brief Fatigue Inventory (BFI), Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) and satisfaction scores.
The exercise programme caused a significant reduction in fatigue scores (BFI) in terms of severity of fatigue and its impact on daily functioning. In the control group, no significant changes in the BFI were observed. Moreover, the physiotherapy programme improved patients’ general well-being and reduced the intensity of coexisting symptoms such as pain, drowsiness, lack of appetite and depression. The analysis of satisfaction scores showed that it was also positively evaluated by patients.
The physiotherapy programme, which included active exercises, myofascial release and PNF techniques, had beneficial effects on CRF and other symptoms in patients with advanced cancer who received palliative care. The results of the study suggest that physiotherapy is a safe and effective method of CRF management.
> From: Pyszora et al., Support Care Cancer 25 (2017-11-30 05:03:54) 2899-2908 (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to The Author(s). Click here for the online summary.