In a nutshell
This study examined the effects of exercise at home in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This study found that the at-home exercise program had multiple fitness benefits and was tolerated by most patients.
Exercise is important for patients with lung cancer. Exercise is associated with improved outcomes for these patients, including muscle strength and disease symptoms such as fatigue. Despite these benefits, many patients with lung cancer do not exercise as much as they should.
Exercise at home can be an attractive option for these patients. Moderate-intensity exercise during chemotherapy, for example, can help improve quality of life. Whether at-home exercise programs Whether patients with NSCLC are willing to exercise at home and the best types of exercise remain under investigation.
Methods & findings
This study had 92 patients with NSCLC. 44% of patients had stage 4 disease. 45 patients participated in the exercise program. 47 patients received usual care (no exercise). The exercise program was 8 weeks long. The program involved physiotherapy, aerobic exercise, and resistance training at home.
After 8 weeks, 55% of patients were interviewed by phone and given the opportunity to express their thoughts about the program. 68% of patients who were interviewed said they stayed with the program.
Most patients strongly felt that the program was helpful. 19 out of 21 patients reported feeling physically stronger. These patients also reported feeling more mentally prepared for challenges ahead, like future treatments. Patients also reported having a sense of purpose thanks to the program.
23 patients reported that the home-based design helped them stick to the program. Being at home allowed for a more flexible routine. Daily exercise was easier to do at home instead of at a hospital.
The most common challenges to exercising were lack of motivation and increased symptoms. Symptoms included fatigue, lack of energy, dizziness, poor appetite, and pain. However, 13 patients reported that they were more able to manage their symptoms in a positive way thanks to the program.
The bottom line
The study concluded that at-home exercise was highly accepted, safe, and resulted in many benefits for patients with inoperable NSCLC.
The fine print
This was a small study. Also, only 55% of patients were interviewed. This may bias the results because only patients who wanted to be interviewed were included in the results.
Talk to your doctor about setting up an exercise program that is right for you.
Published By :
Supportive care in cancer: official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer
Apr 13, 2019