The effect, moderators, and mediators of resistance and aerobic exercise on health-related quality of life in older long-term survivors of prostate cancer
BACKGROUND The current study examined effects, moderators (for whom), and mediators (working mechanisms) of 12 months of exercise on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in older long-term survivors of prostate cancer. METHODS In total, 100 men aged 71.7 years (standard deviation, 6.4 years) were randomly assigned to 6 months of supervised aerobic and resistance exercise followed by 6 months of a home-based exercise maintenance program (EX group) or printed education material regarding physical activity for 12 months (PA group). Assessments took place at baseline and after 6 and 12 months. Generalized estimating equations were used to study the effects of EX versus PA on HRQoL at 6 and 12 months, adjusting for baseline HRQoL. The authors examined potential sociodemographic and clinical moderators by adding interaction terms, and potential physical and psychological mediators using the product-of-coefficients test. RESULTS At 6 months, significant beneficial effects were found for global QoL, physical function, and social function in the EX group compared with the PA group. For physical function, beneficial effects were sustained at 12 months. Moderation analyses demonstrated larger effects of EX versus PA for patients who were married, started exercising sooner after their diagnosis, and previously used bisphosphonates. Changes in lower body functional performance significantly mediated the effect of EX on global QoL, physical function, and social function. No mediating effects on HRQoL were found for aerobic fitness, physical activity, fatigue, distress, or falls self-efficacy. CONCLUSIONS Aerobic and resistance exercise appears to have beneficial effects on HRQoL among older, long-term survivors of prostate cancer. Effects were moderated by marital status, time since diagnosis, and use of bisphosphonates, and were mediated by lower body functional performance.