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Physical Exercise and Cancer-Related Fatigue in Hospitalized Patients: Role of the Clinical Nurse Leader in Implementation of Interventions

Katrina McGowan

fatigue, cancer program quality, caregiver strain and burden, complementary/alternative therapies, exercise/physical activity, quality of life
CJON 2016, 20(1), E20-E27. DOI: 10.1188/16.CJON.E20-E27

Background: Guidelines suggest that aerobic endurance training and moderate resistance training lessen the effects of cancer-related fatigue (CRF). However, specifics regarding frequency, intensity, and type of physical activity required to alleviate fatigue are less specific. In addition, outcomes of these interventions during the initial stages of active treatment are not well documented.

Objectives: The purpose of this article is to review the current evidence-based literature regarding the effects of physical exercise on CRF and the role that the clinical nurse leader (CNL) can play in implementing interventions to address CRF and promote physical exercise to improve patient outcomes.

Methods: A literature review of the effect of physical exercise on CRF was conducted using the CINAHL®, PubMed, and Google Scholar databases.

Findings: As leaders in health care, CNLs have the knowledge and skill to take an active role in managing CRF and to develop evidence-based interventions to address fatigue in this patient population. Interventions may include creating and evaluating individualized exercise plans for inpatients with cancer and/or developing educational programs for the inpatient setting that may be continued after discharge and during outpatient treatment.

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