The Effect of Walking Intervention on Cognitive Function Among Patients With Non-Central Nervous System Cancer: A Systematic Review

Hui Ying Yang, Yun Jen Chou, Shiow Ching Shun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Cognitive impairment is one of the most frequently reported symptoms in patients with non-central nervous system (non-CNS) cancer. Walking has positive effects on cognitive function. However, the effects of walking interventions on cognitive function outcomes in patients with non-CNS cancer are not well synthesized. Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the characteristics of walking intervention and its effects on cognitive function in patients with non-CNS cancer. Methods: Ten databases were searched to identify eligible randomized controlled trials from each database's inception to June 7, 2021. The Physiotherapy Evidence Database Scale was used to assess the quality of the included studies. Results: Five randomized controlled trials involving 242 adults with non-CNS cancer were included. Two studies involving immediate treadmill walking interventions with moderate intensity at 40% to 60% maximal heart rate reported significantly improved objective cognitive domains of processing speed and spatial working memory with small to moderate effect sizes for cancer survivors. One study delivering home-based, moderate-intensity walking intervention had borderline significantly positive effects on perceived cognitive functioning for patients with non-CNS cancer during chemotherapy. Conclusion: Walking intervention with moderate intensity is a beneficial approach to improve objective cognitive domains of processing speed and spatial working memory and perceived cognitive function. Implications for Practice Nurses may provide moderate-intensity walking with 40% to 60% maximal heart rate monitoring to alleviate cognitive problems during the continuous process of cancer care. The modality and dosage of intervention should be adjusted depending on this population's tolerance to better maintain training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-385
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Nursing
Volume46
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2023

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Cognitive function
  • Systematic review
  • Walking

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