Date of Award

January 2012

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Melinda Irwin


Purpose: We conducted a randomized controlled trial of 39 breast cancer survivors who were currently taking aromatase inhibitors and experiencing painful side effects. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of a 6-month exercise intervention on (1) endocrine-related quality of life and (2) overall quality of life. Methods: Eligible women completed self-administered questionnaires at baseline and 6 months including the FACT-B +ES to assess quality of life. The participants were randomized to either an exercise intervention group that met twice weekly with a personal trainer or usual care. T-tests and ÷2 analyses were used to assess differences in endocrine-related quality of life over the 6-month intervention period as well as overall quality of life. The subscales of the FACT-B were examined independently using t-tests. Results: The average baseline endocrine-related QOL score was 56.2 for all participants in the study. The average score did not differ by treatment group (p=0.81). Mean 6-month changes from baseline for exercisers for the full QOL endocrine subscale was +3.3 compared to usual care (+1.8). The difference between the two groups was not statistically significant (p=0.32). A significant difference between the exercisers and usual care group for favorable changes in joint pain was observed (p-value = 0.014). A moderately significant effect was also seen for favorable changes on bloating in exercisers as compared to the usual care group (p-value = 0.055). Conclusion: In this study, aerobic exercise, such as treadmill walking, and strength training were associated with increases in endocrine-related quality of life. In particular, the intervention was associated with significant decreases in joint pain. These results are encouraging for post-menopausal women who are recommended to take AIs to improve their prognosis.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access