The characteristics of physical activity and gait in patients receiving radiotherapy in cancer induced bone pain

Tonje Sande, Angela C. Scott, Barry J A Laird, Hong I. Wan, Susan M. Fleetwood-Walker, Stein Kaasa, Pål Klepstad, Rory Mitchell, Gordon D. Murray, Lesley A. Colvin, Marie T. Fallon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and purpose An objective measure of pain relief may add important information to patients' self assessment, particularly after a treatment. The study aims were to determine whether measures of physical activity and/or gait can be used in characterizing cancer-induced bone pain (CIBP) and whether these biomarkers are sensitive to treatment response, in patients receiving radiotherapy (XRT) for CIBP. Materials and methods Patients were assessed before (baseline) and 6-8 weeks after XRT (follow up). The following assessments were done: Brief Pain Inventory (BPI), activPAL™ activity meter, and GAITRite® electronic walkway (measure of gait). Wilcoxon, Mann-Whitney and Pearson statistical analyses were done. Results Sixty patients were assessed at baseline; median worst pain was 7 and walking interference was 5. At follow up 42 patients were assessed. BPI worst pain, average pain, walking interference and total functional interference all improved (p < 0.001). An improvement in functional interference correlated with aspects of physical activity (daily hours standing r = 0.469, p = 0.002) and gait (cadence r = 0.341, p = 0.03). The activPAL and GAITRite parameters did not change following XRT (p > 0.05). In responder analyses there were no differences in activPAL and GAITRite parameters (p > 0.05). Conclusion Assessment of physical activity and gait allow a characterization of the functional aspects of CIBP, but not in the evaluation of XRT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-24
Number of pages7
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Biomarker
  • Bone metastases
  • Gait
  • Physical activity
  • Radiotherapy


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