Reuters Health (www.reutershealth.com) reported on tuesday that a walking program may improve fatigue in acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) patients who are undergoing chemotherapy. The findings were based on a study by Dr. Yeur-Hur Lai and colleagues of National Taiwan University in Taipei which was published in the May issue of the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. Dr Lai’s team randomly assigned 22 hospitalized patients undergoing chemotherapy to a walking group or control group. The walking group walked 12 minutes per day, 5 days per week for 3 weeks.
Researchers reported that the walking group had lower levels of fatigue, distress, anxiety, and depression than the control group. A significantly greater increase in the 12-minute walking distance was also seen in the walking group.
“Taken together, our preliminary findings suggest that a brief exercise-driven program, such as the walking exercise program, should be started at the beginning of chemotherapy to decrease chemotherapy-related fatigue,” Dr. Lai’s team concluded. “Standardizing the walking exercise program as part of a chemotherapy-related care model should be feasible and encouraged to improve cancer-related fatigue experiences.” (J Pain Symptom Manage 2008;35:524-534)