Asian Oncol Nurs.  2021 Jun;21(2):74-87. 10.5388/aon.2021.21.2.74.

The Effects of Exercise Intervention for Post-Operative Breast Cancer Patients in Korea: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

  • 1College of Nursing, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Korea
  • 2Department of Nursing, Songho University, Chuncheon, Korea
  • 3Kangwon National Univ. Hospital, Chuncheon, Korea
  • 4Department of Nursing, Songgok University, Chuncheon, Korea


This study aimed to systematically evaluate literature related to the effects of exercise intervention programs on physical or psychological variables of post-operative breast cancer patients in Korea, and identify the effectiveness of exercise intervention through meta-analysis.
The review question was defined according to PICO-SD (Participants, Intervention, Comparisons, Outcomes, Study Design) to achieve a systematic literature review: “How does exercise intervention affect the physical or psychological outcome in post-operative breast cancer patients compared to the control group?” The subjects were randomized clinical trials (RCTs) studies released in Korea between 2010 and December 2020. Literature searches were conducted using four electronic databases, including Korean Studies Information Service System (KISS), Research Information Sharing Service (RISS), National Assembly Library, and DBpia. The search terms were ‘breast neoplasms’ or ‘breast cancer’ with ‘exercise’ or ‘exercise intervention’ or ‘exercise program.’ A total of 13 RCTs were finally selected. Results: The outcome variables were in the upper extremity range of motion (ROM), shoulder disability, pain and edema. The effect size of exercise intervention on ROM was 0.95(95% CI:0.58, 1.33)( p<.001); shoulder disability was -1.16(95% CI:-1.77, -0.55)(p<.001); pain was -1.24(95% CI:-1.58, -0.89) (p<.001); and edema was -0.03(95% CI:-0.39, 0.33)(p=.858).
This result suggests that oncology nurses may apply exercise intervention to improve ROM, shoulder disability, and to alleviate pain in post-op breast cancer patients.


Breast neoplasm; Mastectomy; Exercise; Randomized Controlled Trial; Meta-analysis
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