The Efficacy of Home-Based Walking Exercise on Sleep in Cancer Survivors: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Hsiao-Yean Chiu, RN, PhD
Graduate Institute of Nursing, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan
Pin-Yuan Chen, MD, PhD
Department of Neurosurgery, Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan

Background Disturbed sleep is a common symptom experienced by cancer patients. The effects of home-based walking exercise (HBWE) on sleep among cancer patients are conflicting.

Purposes To examine the efficacy of HBWE on sleep in patients with cancer.

Methods Electronic databases were searched thoroughly with keywords related to HBWE and sleep. Methodological quality of included randomized controlled trials was assessed according to the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Review of Intervention 5.1.0, and the data were analyzed using the Comprehensive Meta Analysis software 2.0.

Results Nine studies involving 606 subjects were included. The weighted mean effect size was -0.49 (95% CI, -0.61to -0.28, P< .001). The sensitivity analysis revealed a significant effect on sleep (g=-0.35, P< .001). Number of treatment sessions was a significant moderator of the relationship between HBWE and sleep (P=.03).

Conclusions This meta-analysis confirms that HBWE yielded a medium effect size on sleep and greater number of treatment sessions had a higher effect on improving sleep. HBEW, which is a convenience and low cost approach to the management of sleep quality, should be treated as adjuvant or complementary and alternative therapy among cancer patients.