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Effect of physical activity on static and dynamic postural balance in women treated for breast cancer: a systematic review
Bula A, Tatar K, Wysocka R, Chyrek K, Piejko L, Nawrat-Szotysik A, Polak A
International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health 2023 Feb;20(4):3722
systematic review

BACKGROUND: Therapies against breast cancer (BC) frequently involve complications that impair patients' daily function and quality of life, the most common of which are motor coordination and balance disorders, increasing the risk of falls and injuries. In such cases, physical activity is recommended. Designed following the PRISMA guidelines, this study presents a systematic review of randomised and pilot clinical trials investigating the effect of physical exercises on postural balance in women treated for BC. METHODS: Scientific databases (PubMed, EBSCO) and the online resources of grey publications were searched for trial reports published between January 2002 and February 2022. The inclusion criteria necessitated full-text, English-language reports from randomised clinical trials (RCTs) or pilot clinical trials (pilot CTs), whose authors used physical exercises to treat women with BC and the experimental and control groups consisted of at least 10 women. The methodological quality of the RCTs and pilot CTs were measured using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale and the Methodological Index for Non-Randomized Studies (MINORS), respectively. Data were extracted on the effect of exercise on the women's static and dynamic balance. RESULTS: Seven reports, five RCTs and two pilot CTs involving a total of 575 women (aged 18 to 83 years) were included in the systematic review. Their training protocols utilised a variety of aerobic, strength, endurance, sensorimotor, Pilates exercises, and fitness exercises with elements of soccer. The experimental groups usually worked out in fitness or rehabilitation centres under the supervision of physiotherapists or trainers. Training sessions of 30 to 150 min were held 2 or 3 times a week for 1.5 to 24 months. Most trials reported that static and dynamic balance in the experimental groups improved significantly more compared with the control groups. CONCLUSIONS: Physical exercises are able to improve static and dynamic postural balance in women treated for BC. However, as all evidence in support of this conclusion comes from only two pilot CT and five RCTs whose methodologies varied widely, more high quality research is needed to validate their findings and determine which exercise protocols are the most effective in improving postural control in women with BC.

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