Heavy Lifting Strength Training in Head and Neck Cancer Survivors

Official Title

Feasibility and Safety of Heavy Lifting Strength Training in Head and Neck Cancer Survivors Post-Surgical Neck Dissection


The LIFTING trial will examine the feasibility and safety of a heavy lifting strength training (HLST) program in head and neck cancer survivors (HNCS) at least 1 years post surgical neck dissection. The trial will determine whether this training style is safe and feasible in HNCS. Physical and psychosocial changes will also be reported.

Trial Description

Primary Outcome:

  • Recruitment Rate
  • Muscular Strength
  • Program Adherence
Secondary Outcome:
  • Physical functioning
  • Fear of cancer recurrence
  • Post Traumatic Growth after cancer
  • Waist to hip ratio (body composition)
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Shoulder Mobility
  • Self-Esteem
  • Sleep
  • Motivation
  • Cancer specific quality of life
  • Cancer Symptom Burden
  • Height
  • Weight
RATIONALE Despite improvements in treatments, HNCS still endure numerous acute and chronic side effects. Strength training has been shown to manage some of these side effects but most interventions have involved light-to-moderate resistance training programs. HLST may produce better outcomes but it is unknown if such a weight training program is feasible and safe for HNCS.

OBJECTIVE The primary aim of this proposed study is to examine the feasibility and safety of a HLST program in HNCS at least 1 year post-surgical neck dissection. METHODS This single arm feasibility study will recruit 15-20 HNCS to complete the HLST program 2 times per week. The primary feasibility outcomes will include the eligibility rate (with reasons for ineligibility), recruitment rate (with reasons for refusal), 1 repetition maximum testing rate (with reasons for not completing the test), program adherence (including attendance, dose modifications, and progression), and follow-up assessment rate (with reasons for drop out). The primary efficacy outcome will be strength gains from baseline. Secondary efficacy outcomes will include physical functioning, quality of life, fear of cancer recurrence, pain, body composition, anxiety, fatigue, stress, shoulder mobility, self-esteem, sleep, and motivation to engage in a HLST program.

SIGNIFICANCE Weight training is an effective intervention in HNCS but the optimal weight training prescription is unknown. If heavy weight training is deemed safe and feasible in HNCS, it can be compared to light-to-moderate load weight training to determine if it is a better prescription for improving outcomes that are important to HNCS.

View this trial on ClinicalTrials.gov

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Canadian Cancer Society

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