Systematic review of the effect of aquatic therapeutic exercise in breast cancer survivors
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John Wiley & Sons
Aquatic therapeutic exerciseBreast cancer survivorsSide effects
Mur-Gimeno, E... [et al.] (2021). Systematic review of the effect of aquatic therapeutic exercise in breast cancer survivors. European Journal of Cancer Care, 1– 16. [https://doi.org/10.1111/ecc.13535]
SponsorshipSpanish Ministry of Education Culture and Sport FPU17/00939; Universidad de Granada/CBUA
Background: Aquatic therapeutic exercise can be equally effective or even superior to land-based exercise in improving several clinical variables. However, there is still a lack of knowledge on the effects compared to land-based interventions particularly in breast cancer (BC) patients. Objective: The objective of this study is to examine the effects of aquatic therapeutic exercise on pain, shoulder mobility, lymphedema, cardiorespiratory fitness, muscle strength, body composition, pulmonary function, cancer-related fatigue (CRF) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and which parameters are effective compared to similar land-based interventions. Methods: The databases used were PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Cochrane Library and CINAHL, retrieving 145 articles. Results: Eleven studies were included. Aquatic therapeutic exercise is feasible, safe, well tolerated and achieved high percentages of adherence. As for the assessed outcomes, moderate to large improvements were found compared to usual care or to land-based physical exercise interventions in pain, shoulder range of motion, pulmonary function, HRQoL, cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength. Inconclusive results were found for lymphedema, body composition and CRF. Conclusions: Aquatic therapeutic exercise interventions using a combination of endurance, strength, mobility, stretching and breathing exercises resulted in improvements in common side effects of BC and its treatments. More studies on CRF, body composition and lymphedema need to be done to further evaluate the impact of the intervention on these outcomes.