Quality of Life: A Nurse-Led Physical Activity Coaching Program to Improve the Quality of Life of Patients With Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Judi K. Forner

Andrea Doughty

Matthew Dalstrom

Brandie L. Messer

Shannon K. Lizer

physical activity, cancer treatment, nurse coaching, health-related quality of life
CJON 2021, 25(5), 571-577. DOI: 10.1188/21.CJON.571-577

Background: Physical activity has been shown to mitigate many of the effects of cancer treatment, yet it often is not embraced by the patient or made part of the nursing standard of care.

Objectives: This pilot study evaluates the impact of the Oncology Nursing Society’s Get Up, Get Moving program, a personalized, home-based, nurse-led physical activity coaching program.

Methods: Patients with cancer in the intervention and control groups completed the SF-36® and the Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire at weeks 1 and 12. All patients were initially counseled on exercise. A nurse called each member of the intervention group weekly to encourage physical activity and asked about fatigue, nausea, and step count. The control group was contacted at 6 weeks and 12 weeks only.

Findings: The program, coupled with nurse telephone calls, increased steps, decreased fatigue, and maintained health-related quality of life among patients in the intervention group. The control group had a decrease in steps, a decline in their SF-36 general health score, and an increase in fatigue. Nurse coaching positively affects physical activity, which may help to decrease cancer treatment side effects.

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