gms | German Medical Science

27th German Cancer Congress Berlin 2006

German Cancer Society (Frankfurt/M.)

22. - 26.03.2006, Berlin

Comparison of health-related quality of life in breast cancer patients after conventional inpatient rehabilitation and a step-by-step inpatient rehabilitation

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Ute Hartmann - Reha-Klinik, Bad Kissingen, Deutschland
  • Ursula Wolf - Abteilung Biometrie und Medizinische Dokumentation, Universität Ulm
  • Monika Reuss-Borst - Reha-Klinik

27. Deutscher Krebskongress. Berlin, 22.-26.03.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocPO540

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: March 20, 2006

© 2006 Hartmann et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Aim: To investigate whether the good benefits of an oncological inpatient rehabilitation program concerning quality of life (QoL) can be stabilized by a step-by-step rehabilitation program.

Patients and methods: 197 women with histological diagnosis of breast cancer and no serious internal or psychological diseases took part in this study. Patients aged 29 – 75 years were randomized for one of two treatment groups. Women of the intervention group (IG) had an inpatient program for 3 weeks which was followed of two 1week inpatient sojourns at intervals of 4 and 8 months after study onset. Patients of the CG (control group) got a 4week inpatient rehabilitation program only. End of study (t2) was in both groups 12 months after beginning. Quality of life was assessed at start (t0) and end of 3 or 4 week rehabilitation (t1) and at t2 with the EORTC-QLQ-C30.

Comparison within groups were calculated with the Wilcoxon signed rank test at a two-sided level of significance of a=5%. For comparison of changes of QoL between groups the Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney test was chosen (two sided, significance-level a=5%)

No differences were detected in structure (e.g. age, prime therapy, etc) of the two groups at t0 except for proportions of women who had no concomitant disease (NCD) or musculosceletal disease (MSD). They differed significantly, therefore explorative subgroup-analysis were done.

Results: All dimensions of QoL showed significant improvement (global quality of life (gQL) emotional (EF) physical (PF) and cognitive function (CF)) at t1 within both groups (p<0.0001-0.0221).

At t1 patients of the CG showed a tendency (0.1>p>0.05, ) for greater benefit concerning gQL and EF. Patients with MSD had significant better results at t1 for gQL (p=0.0377) in the CG. Subgroup analysis showed no influence of NCD. Changes from t1->t2 differed only for CF between the groups with a tendency of better results in the IG (p=0.0746). Subgroups had no influence.

Conclusions: A 3 or 4 week inpatient rehabilitation program improves the different dimensions of quality of life significantly.

The analyzed step-by-step rehabilitation program showed a tendency to stabilize the cognitive function one year after rehabilitation. The intensified psychological care during this program results in a positive effect on anxiety which leads to better concentration in day-to-day life.

As a side-effect it could be shown that patients with musculosceletal concomitant diseases gain from a prolonged stay of 4 weeks.