Following surgical lung resection, patients frequently suffer functional decline and reduced activity levels. Despite this exercise interventions are not routinely provided. This study aimed to establish the safety and feasibility of exercise administered following lung resection in an Australian setting.
Pilot randomized controlled trial. Fifteen individuals (53% male), mean ... [Show full abstract] ± standard deviation age 65.5 ± 16.1 years, undergoing surgery for suspected lung cancer. Randomization occurred postoperatively. Control arm received protocolized inpatient respiratory physiotherapy. Intervention arm additionally received twice daily exercise until discharge home and twice weekly as outpatient for 8 weeks. Outcome measures (safety, feasibility, functional capacity, functional mobility, and health-related quality of life [HRQoL]) were assessed preoperatively and 2 and 12 weeks postoperatively.
Fifteen participants (lung cancer n = 10) were assigned to control (n = 8) and intervention (n = 7) groups. Inpatient exercise was delivered on 71% of occasions (35 out of 49 planned sessions). Four participants attended outpatient exercise sessions and these participants attended sessions on 81% of occasions (52 out of 64 planned sessions). No adverse events occurred. There was a significant between group difference in 6-Minute Walk Test (6MWT; P = .024). In both groups the 6MWT declined from baseline to 2 weeks postoperative and then improved up to 12 weeks; improvements were greater in the intervention group. Intervention was associated with positive trends of improvement in some HRQoL domains.
Exercise intervention performed in the inpatient and outpatient settings for individuals following lung resection was safe and feasible. The uptake rate for outpatient exercise was 57%, similar to previous trials; however, adherence was excellent within the subgroup of participants who attended. Further research is required to investigate the best setting of exercise delivery and explore ways to improve the uptake rate.