Effects of Home-Based Walking on Cancer-Related Fatigue in Patients With Breast Cancer: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials



      This study was designed to critically evaluate the effect of home-based walking on cancer-related fatigue (CRF) in patients with breast cancer (BC) receiving anticancer treatment.

      Data Sources

      Eight databases were systematically searched from inception to March 2021 for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) without language restrictions.

      Study Selection

      Two reviewers (Y.Y. and Z.N.) scanned the titles and abstracts and then read the full texts of potentially eligible trials to screen the literature. Inclusion criteria were studies of home-based walking (HBW) intervention in adult patients with BC, using fatigue as a primary or secondary outcome, and containing extractable fatigue scores.

      Data Extraction

      Two reviewers (Y.Y. and Z.N.) critically and independently assessed the risk of bias using Cochrane Collaboration criteria and extracted correlated data using the designed extraction form. The standardized mean difference (SMD) was used when the outcome assessment tools were different. All of the analyses were performed using Review Manager 5.3.

      Data Synthesis

      Eight RCTs including 764 patients (HBW: 377, control: 387) meeting the inclusion criteria for the meta-analysis were identified. HBW had a significant effect on CRF in patients with BC receiving multiple anticancer treatments (SMD=−0.61; 95% confidence interval [CI], −0.86 to −0.36; P<.001). HBW without other exercises (SMD=−0.83; 95% CI, −1.39 to −0.27; P=.003), walking for a gradually increased duration (SMD=−1.24; 95% CI, −2.20 to −0.28; P=.010), and no restrictions on walking intensity (SMD=−1.03; 95% CI, −1.75 to −0.31; P=.005) demonstrated substantial effects on CRF. Of the 8 included studies, only 3 reported adverse events.


      HBW can be considered as an alternative therapy for relieving CRF in patients with BC undergoing anticancer treatment.


      List of abbreviations:

      BC (breast cancer), CI (confidence interval), CRF (cancer- related fatigue), HBW (home-based walking), RCT (randomized controlled trial), SMD (standardized mean difference)
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