HIIT, resistance training boost wellbeing in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

22 Sep 2022
HIIT, resistance training boost wellbeing in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

Patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) may benefit from an exercise regimen consisting of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and resistance training (RT), which could lead to better functional and general wellbeing, as well as a lower burden of lymphoma-specific symptoms, reports a recent study.

The present pilot study included 15 CLL patients (mean age 63.9 years), who were nonrandomly assigned to a 12-week exercise intervention or to a control group. The training regimen included three 30-minute sessions of HIIT and two sessions of RT per week; those designated as controls were instructed to continue their usual daily activities.

The study outcome was health-related quality of life (HRQoL), evaluated using the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Lymphoma (FACT-Lym) questionnaire before and after the trial. Scores for the physical (PWB), social (SWB), emotional (EWB), and functional (FWB) wellbeing domains were also determined.

FWB scores improved in the HIIT+RT group, jumping from a mean of 21.7 at baseline to 23.9 at 12 weeks. In comparison, scores in the control group remained constant at 25.7 at both time points. The Cohen’s d estimate was 1.38, which was statistically significant (p=0.021).

A similar effect was reported for the overall FACT score, which improved from 89.2 to 94.6 in the HIIT group (Cohen’s d, 1.11; p=0.055).

Of note, researchers also documented positive changes in terms of PWB, SWB, EWB, and the total FACT-Lym scores, though these failed to reach statistical significance. HIIT+RT likewise led to a nominal improvement in lymphoma symptom burden.

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