Winningham, M.L., & MacVicar, M.G. (1988). The effect of aerobic exercise on patient reports of nausea. Oncology Nursing Forum, 15, 447-450.
To evaluate the therapeutic value of exercise to control or reduce nausea in patients with breast cancer receiving chemotherapy
Subjects were randomized to one of three groups.
The design was randomized, with three groups and pre- and post-test measures.
Pretest to post-test nausea responses were coded as improved, no change, or worsened as reported on the Derogatis Symptom Checklist-90-Revised, a 5-point distress/somatization scale. This somatization scale has 12 items and includes a variety of symptoms common to medical patients.
The differences among the experimental, control, and placebo groups were statistically significant, with the experimental group showing marked improvement in nausea compared to the control and placebo groups. The experimental group showed significant improvements in the Somatization scale scores (i.e., perceptions of autonomically mediated symptoms) over the control and placebo groups.
Moderate aerobic exercise may provide some benefit in reducing nausea. Researchers recommended that patients abstain from exercise several hours prior to blood testing and on days of treatment.