Assessment of gait parameters and physical function in patients with advanced cancer participating in a 12‐week exercise and nutrition programme: A controlled clinical trial
European Journal of Cancer Care
Gait is a sensitive marker for functional declines commonly seen in patients treated for advanced cancer. We tested the effect of a combined exercise and nutrition programme on gait parameters of advanced-stage cancer patients using a novel wearable gait analysis system. Eighty patients were allocated to a control group with nutritional support or to an intervention group additionally receiving whole-body electromyostimulation (WB-EMS) training (2×/week). At baseline and after 12 weeks,
... function was assessed by a biosensor-based gait analysis during a six-minute walk test, a 30-s sit-to-stand test, a hand grip strength test, the Karnofsky Index and EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire. Body composition was measured by bioelectrical impedance analysis and inflammation by blood analysis. Final analysis included 41 patients (56.1% male; 60.0 ± 13.0 years). After 12 weeks, the WB-EMS group showed higher stride length, gait velocity (p < .05), six-minute walking distance (p < .01), bodyweight and skeletal muscle mass, and emotional functioning (p < .05) compared with controls. Correlations between changes in gait and in body composition, physical function and inflammation were detected. Whole-body electromyostimulation combined with nutrition may help to improve gait and functional status of cancer patients. Sensor-based mobile gait analysis objectively reflects patients' physical status and could support treatment decisions.