The effectiveness of a nurse-led exercise and health education informatics program on exercise capacity and quality of life among cancer survivors after esophagectomy: A randomized controlled trial

Yu Ling Chang, Yun Fang Tsai*, Chien Lung Hsu, Yin Kai Chao, Chih Chin Hsu, Kuan Chia Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Esophagectomy is the primary surgical treatment for esophageal cancer. However, patients often experience a decrease in physical activity, poor nutrition, and a reduction in quality of life following surgery. Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine the effects of an exercise and nursing education health informatics program on quality of life, exercise capacity, and nutrition among patients following esophagectomy for esophageal cancer. Design: A randomized controlled trial. Settings and methods: Patients who had undergone an esophagectomy for cancer were recruited by purposive sampling from a medical center in Taiwan. Patients who met inclusion criteria and agreed to participate (N = 88) were randomly assigned to an exercise informatics program (intervention group, n = 44) or usual post-surgery care (control group, n = 44). Quality of life was assessed at baseline and 1, 3, and 6 months after discharge. Secondary outcomes of nutrition (albumin, body mass index), and exercise capacity (maximal oxygen uptake, the six-minute walking test) were conducted at baseline and 3 months following discharge. Differences in quality of life, nutrition and exercise capacity between the two groups were analyzed using generalized estimating equations. Results: Analysis demonstrated significant improvements in outcome measures following hospital discharge for the intervention group compared to controls. Measures of quality of life were significantly better for the intervention group and varied with time following discharge. Functional scores for physical (1 and 3 months), role (1, 3, and 6 months), emotional (1 month), social (3 months) and global health (3 months) were significantly higher than controls. Cancer-related subscales improved for insomnia (1 and 3 months) and nausea/vomiting (3 and 6 months). Esophageal cancer-specific symptoms improved for dry mouth (1 month), dysphagia (3 months), and loss of taste (1 and 6 months). Three months following discharge, levels of albumin were significantly higher for the intervention group compared to controls (β=0.32, 95% CI 0.09, 0.54, p < .01); body mass index did not differ between groups. Exercise capacity was also significantly better; the intervention group had higher maximal oxygen consumption (β=2.61, 95% CI 1.54, 3.69, p < .001) and greater distance on the six-minute walking test (β=83.30, 95% CI 52.60, 113.99, p < .001). Conclusion: The intervention group experienced significant improvements in nutrition, exercise capacity, and variables related to quality of life. These findings suggest a nurse-led exercise and health education informatics program should be implemented for survivors of esophagectomy prior to hospital discharge.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103418
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Volume101
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Cancer survivors
  • Esophagectomy
  • Exercise
  • Health informatics
  • Nursing education
  • Quality of life

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