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Exercise and other non-pharmaceutical interventions for cancer-related fatigue in patients during or after cancer treatment: a systematic review incorporating an indirect-comparisons meta-analysis [with consumer summary]
Hilfiker R, Meichtry A, Eicher M, Nilsson BL, Knols RH, Verra ML, Taeymans J
British Journal of Sports Medicine 2018 May;52(10):651-658
systematic review

AIM: To assess the relative effects of different types of exercise and other non-pharmaceutical interventions on cancer-related fatigue (CRF) in patients during and after cancer treatment. DESIGN: Systematic review and indirect-comparisons meta-analysis. DATA SOURCES: Articles were searched in PubMed, Cochrane CENTRAL and published meta-analyses. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR SELECTING STUDIES: Randomised studies published up to January 2017 evaluating different types of exercise or other non-pharmaceutical interventions to reduce CRF in any cancer type during or after treatment. STUDY APPRAISAL AND SYNTHESIS: Risk of bias assessment with PEDro criteria and random effects Bayesian network meta-analysis. RESULTS: We included 245 studies. Comparing the treatments with usual care during cancer treatment, relaxation exercise was the highest ranked intervention with a standardisedmean difference (SMD) of -0.77 (95% credible interval (CrI) -1.22 to -0.31), while massage (-0.78; -1.55 to -0.01), cognitive-behavioural therapy combined with physical activity (combined CBT -0.72; -1.34 to -0.09), combined aerobic and resistance training (-0.67; -1.01 to -0.34), resistance training (-0.53; -1.02 to -0.03), aerobic (-0.53; -0.80 to -0.26) and yoga (-0.51; -1.01 to 0.00) all had moderate-to-large SMDs. After cancer treatment, yoga showed the highest effect (-0.68; -0.93 to -0.43). Combined aerobic and resistance training (-0.50; -0.66 to -0.34), combined CBT (-0.45; -0.70 to -0.21), Tai-Chi (-0.45; -0.84 to -0.06), CBT (-0.42; -0.58 to -0.25), resistance training (-0.35; -0.62 to -0.08) and aerobic (-0.33; -0.51 to -0.16) showed all small-to-moderate SMDs. CONCLUSIONS: Patients can choose among different effective types of exercise and non-pharmaceutical interventions to reduce CRF.
Reproduced with permission from the BMJ Publishing Group.

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