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Feasibility, Safety And Effects Of A One-Week, Ski-Based Exercise Intervention In Brain Tumor Patients And Their Relatives: A Pilot Study

Fabian M. Troschel, Christian Ramroth, Lars Lemcke, Jens Clasing, Amelie S. Troschel, Martin Dugas, Walter Stummer, Rainer Wiewrodt, Ralf Brandt, Dorothee Wiewrodt

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A brain tumor diagnosis poses a significant psychological burden and it severely impacts quality of life (QOL), both in patients and relatives. However, comprehensive strategies addressing QOL in this setting remain rare. Here, we aim to share our findings of a one-week ski exercise intervention, with emphasis on feasibility, safety, QOL, and physical exercise. The intervention consisted of week-long daily ski sessions with professional ski guides as well as dedicated physicians present. The participants were handed questionnaires, including distress and QOL items before, during, and after the intervention. Using fitness watches, exercise intensity was also tracked at these timepoints. During the intervention, patients were checked for adverse events daily. Fifteen participants, nine patients after multidisciplinary treatment, and six relatives were included in the study. Additionally, 13 children participated in the exercise, but not in the study. All of the participants completed the entire program. No severe adverse events were documented during daily checks. There was a strong increase in quantified activity and QOL with a corresponding decrease in distress during the intervention, and, partly, afterwards. This prospective brain tumor rehabilitation study demonstrates the feasibility and safety of challenging ski exercise in brain tumor patients. The findings also underline the exercise-mediated QOL benefits, emphasizing the need for more comprehensive brain tumor rehabilitation programs.