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Moving to Wellness: A Pilot Study Examining a Nurse-Driven Exercise Program in Acutely Ill Patients With Cancer

Teresa Money McLaughlin
Emma Rondares Wittstein
Teresa H. White
Cindy A. Czaplinski
Sally O'Toole Gerard
CJON 2012, 16(3), E105-E110 DOI: 10.1188/12.CJON.E105-E110

Preventing patients with cancer from falling is a particularly important strategy for avoiding serious patient harm. Patients with cancer often fall as a result of overestimating their abilities as they adapt to the onset of fatigue and diminished functional status or muscle strength. That deconditioning can develop quickly with immobilization or prolonged recumbency. The effect of regularly supervised exercise programs led by nurses on maintaining muscle strength, thus preventing falls and reducing pressure ulcers, was examined in this feasibility study. Patients' muscle strength was assessed through the development and use of the Moving to Wellness Assessment Tool before implementing the Moving to Wellness Exercise Program. Of the 16 study participants, 81% maintained or improved their muscle strength compared to their original score. This pilot study was a unique opportunity to engage patients in a nurse-driven program to support minimal deconditioning of patients with cancer during acute illness.

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