Randomized trial of exercise and an online recovery tool to improve rehabilitation outcomes of cancer survivors

Anna L. Schwartz, Mary Biddle-Newberry, Hendrik Dirk de Heer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose. The purpose of this study was to test the effects of a cancer survivor exercise program and an online recovery awareness program (Restwise) on physical outcomes of aerobic capacity and muscle strength. Design. Randomized controlled trial design. Setting. Treasure Valley Family YMCA, Boise, ID. Sample: Fifty cancer survivors. Methods. Subjects were randomly assigned to the 12-week exercise program or the exercise program and Restwise. Restwise required users to complete daily objective and subjective ratings. Restwise compiles these data to provide individualized feedback recommending the exercise dose to maximize recovery and minimize fatigue. Main Research variable. Baseline and posttest measures of physical performance (6-minute walk, 1-repetition maximum of lower and upper body strength). Findings. The exercise plus Restwise group demonstrated significant improvements (P < 0.001) that were found on all 3 physical measurements of strength and endurance. The exercise-only group demonstrated significant within-group improvement only on the 6-minute walk. The exercise plus Restwise group demonstrated an 18.5% greater improvement in the 6-minute walk, and a 35.2% and 45%, respectively, greater improvement on the leg and chest press than the exercise-only group. However, the between-group differences were not significant. Conclusion. Cancer survivors who use the Restwise online recovery program in conjunction with an exercise program demonstrated minimal clinically important differences compared with other clinical populations on all 3 measures, whereas the exercise-only group had improvements only on the 6-minute walk. Patient adherence to the Restwise program was good, and patients provided positive feedback.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-149
Number of pages7
JournalPhysician and Sportsmedicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Cancer
  • Exercise
  • Physical activity
  • Recovery
  • rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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