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Community-Based FitSTEPS for Life Exercise Program for Persons With Cancer: 5-Year Evaluation
Journal of Oncology Practice (2012)
  • Barbara K Haas, University of Texas at Tyler
  • Gary Kimmel
  • Melinda Hermanns, University of Texas at Tyler
  • Dr. Belinda J. Deal, University of Texas at Tyler
Purpose: To determine the effects of a community-based program of exercise on quality of life (QOL) of persons with cancer over time. 

Methods: Participants were referred by their physician to participate in an individualized program of exercise at one of 14 community centers. The Medical Outcomes Survey, Short Form, version 2.0 (SF-36) was used to assess QOL. Individual participants were monitored for 2 years. Data collection took place at baseline, every 3 months months during year 1, and every 6 months during year 2. 

Results: Enrolled participants (n  701) had been diagnosed with different cancers and were at all stages; 177 completed data collection for 2 years. One-way analysis of variance (n  177) supported the positive impact of exercise on QOL over time. Significant subscale scores of the SF-36, including Physical Function (F  2.13, P  .047), Role Physical (F  3.78, P  .001), Vitality (F  5.97, P  .001), Social Function (F  4.46, P  .001), Role Emotional (F  2.56, P  .01), Mental Health (F  2.16, P  .05), and General Health (F  3.42, P  .01), were sustainable over time. 

Conclusion: This research introduces the concept of a longterm community-based program of individualized exercise as a feasible and effective intervention to improve QOL for persons with all stages of cancer. Improvements, noted at the 3-month time point, appear to be sustainable for extended time (24 months). Attrition is problematic and needs to be addressed. Results from this study have significance for practice recommendations and health policy reimbursement issues.
  • exercise,
  • quality of life,
  • cancer
Publication Date
Publisher Statement
Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Clinical Oncology
Citation Information
Haas, B. K., Kimmel, G., Hermanns, M. L., & Deal, B. J. (2012). Community-based FitSTEPS for Life exercise program for persons with cancer: 5-year evaluation. Journal of Oncology Practice, 6(8), 320–324.