Post-operative pulmonary rehabilitation in patients who have undergone surgery for lung cancer is a subject of open debate. Clinical practice in this setting is based on the results of observational trials, such as the one described here. Prospective randomized controlled trials have been registered and recruitment is ongoing.
From 2005 to 2008, 110 patients with surgical non-small cell lung cancer were entered into a post-operative inpatient pulmonary rehabilitation programme for 3 weeks. All patients were evaluated for pulmonary function after surgery (time 0; T0) and at the end of pulmonary rehabilitation programme (time 1; T1). Statistical analysis focused on improvement in pulmonary function parameters and physical performance in the 6-min walking test (6MWT). Mixed models multiple linear regression was used to identify parameters related to the primary end-points of this research.
Patients' mean age was 70.1 years (standard deviation (SD) 8.5 years); male/female ratio 73/37. A total of 94 patients underwent lobectomy, 8 underwent pneumonectomy, and the remaining 8 underwent bilobectomy. Among the analysed parameters a significant improvement could be detected only with regards to the 6MWT (257.4 (SD 112.2) at T0 and 382.8 (SD 11.09) at T1).
Post-operative pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with surgical non-small cell lung cancer is effective in terms of exercise tolerance.
- Post-operative rehabilitation