Main idea: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first meta-analysis to examine the effects of exercise interventions on cognitive functioning among prostate cancer patients.
Purpose: Exercise is beneficial for prostate cancer patients’ physical functioning; however, effects on social and cognitive functioning are inconsistent. This meta-analysis of exercise interventions for prostate cancer patients had two aims: the primary aim was to evaluate the effects of exercise interventions on social functioning; the secondary aim was to consider additional outcomes of cognitive functioning as well as adverse events.
Methods: Electronic databases (Embase, MEDLINE, PubMed, PsycINFO, and the Chinese database Airti Library) were searched for relevant papers (1987-2019), which included hand searching. After careful inspection, 10 relevant randomized controlled trials were analyzed using Comprehensive Meta-Analysis software; pooled means determined social and cognitive functioning. Results: Meta-analysis of summary scores (fixed-effects model) showed an overall beneficial effect of exercise on social functioning (Hedges’ g = 0.35, 95% CI [0.193, 0.515], p < 0.001) and cognitive functioning (Hedges’ g = 0.35, 95% CI [0.123, 0.575], p < 0.01) in men with prostate cancer when compared to controls. Intervention durations of 12-16 and 24-48 weeks that provided supervised aerobic exercise combined with resistance exercise sessions had a small to medium effect on social functioning compared to controls. One exercise group experienced one serious, but non-fatal, adverse event due to a higher exercise intensity (50-75% VO2max).