Physical Activity and Health-Related Quality of Life in Women With Breast Cancer: A Meta-Analysis

Dagfinn Aune, Georgios Markozannes, Leila Abar, Katia Balducci, Margarita Cariolou, Neesha Nanu, Rita Vieira, Yusuf O. Anifowoshe, Darren C. Greenwood, Steven K. Clinton, Edward L. Giovannucci, Marc J. Gunter, Alan Jackson, Ellen Kampman, Vivien Lund, Anne McTiernan, Elio Riboli, Kate Allen, Nigel T. Brockton, Helen CrokerDaphne Katsikioti, Deirdre McGinley-Gieser, Panagiota Mitrou, Martin Wiseman, Galina Velikova, Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Teresa Norat, Konstantinos K. Tsilidis, Doris S.M. Chan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Physical activity (PA) is associated with improved health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among women with breast cancer; however, uncertainty remains regarding PA types and dose (frequency, duration, intensity) and various HRQoL measures. A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials was conducted to clarify whether specific types and doses of physical activity was related to global and specific domains of HRQoL, as part of the Global Cancer Update Programme, formerly known as the World Cancer Research Fund-American Institute for Cancer Research Continuous Update Project. Methods: PubMed and CENTRAL databases were searched up to August 31, 2019. Weighted mean differences (WMDs) in HRQoL scores were estimated using random effects models. An independent expert panel graded the evidence. Results: A total of 79 randomized controlled trials (14 554 breast cancer patients) were included. PA interventions resulted in higher global HRQoL as measured by the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast (WMD = 5.94, 95% confidence intervals [CI] = 2.64 to 9.24; I2 = 59%, n = 12), Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General (WMD = 4.53, 95% CI = 1.94 to 7.13; I2 = 72%, n = 18), and European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-C30 (WMD = 6.78, 95% CI = 2.61 to 10.95; I2 = 76.3%, n = 17). The likelihood of causality was considered probable that PA improves HRQoL in breast cancer survivors. Effects were weaker for physical function and mental and emotional health. Evidence regarding dose and type of PA remains insufficient for firm conclusions. Conclusion: PA results in improved global HRQoL in breast cancer survivors with weaker effects observed for physical function and mental and emotional health. Additional research is needed to define the impact of types and doses of activity on various domains of HRQoL.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberpkac072
JournalJNCI Cancer Spectrum
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2022


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