Assessment of gait parameters and physical function in patients with advanced cancer participating in a 12-week exercise and nutrition programme: A controlled clinical trial

Kristin Schink, Heiko Gaßner, Dejan Reljic, Hans J. Herrmann, Wolfgang Kemmler, Raphaela Schwappacher, Julia Meyer, Björn M. Eskofier, Jürgen Winkler, Markus F. Neurath, Jochen Klucken, Yurdagül Zopf*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Gait is a sensitive marker for functional declines commonly seen in patients treated for advanced cancer. We tested the effect of a combined exercise and nutrition programme on gait parameters of advanced-stage cancer patients using a novel wearable gait analysis system. Methods: Eighty patients were allocated to a control group with nutritional support or to an intervention group additionally receiving whole-body electromyostimulation (WB-EMS) training (2×/week). At baseline and after 12 weeks, physical function was assessed by a biosensor-based gait analysis during a six-minute walk test, a 30-s sit-to-stand test, a hand grip strength test, the Karnofsky Index and EORTC QLQ–C30 questionnaire. Body composition was measured by bioelectrical impedance analysis and inflammation by blood analysis. Results: Final analysis included 41 patients (56.1% male; 60.0 ± 13.0 years). After 12 weeks, the WB-EMS group showed higher stride length, gait velocity (p <.05), six-minute walking distance (p <.01), bodyweight and skeletal muscle mass, and emotional functioning (p <.05) compared with controls. Correlations between changes in gait and in body composition, physical function and inflammation were detected. Conclusion: Whole-body electromyostimulation combined with nutrition may help to improve gait and functional status of cancer patients. Sensor-based mobile gait analysis objectively reflects patients’ physical status and could support treatment decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13199
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • cancer
  • exercise
  • gait
  • nutrition
  • physical function
  • whole-body electromyostimulation

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