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Physical activity in patients with non-small cell lung cancer after lung resection.

Clinical Biomechanics 2024 April 14
BACKGROUND: Lung resection is the standard of care for patients with clinical stage I/II non-small cell lung cancer. This surgery reduces both the duration and quality of patients' daily ambulatory activities 1 month after surgery. However, little is known about physical activity after lung resection in patients with lung cancer. To evaluate the recovery process of physical activity with pulmonary rehabilitation in patients after lung resection and examine whether physical activity is affected by age.

METHODS: In this prospective, observational study, we measured and analysed participants' postoperative physical activity using a uniaxial accelerometer daily from postoperative day 1 to 30.

FINDINGS: We analysed 99 patients who underwent thoracic surgery. The number of walking steps significantly increased until day 4 and then reached a plateau thereafter. The duration of exercise at <3 metabolic equivalents significantly increased until day 3, and no significant difference was observed thereafter. Exercise at >3 metabolic equivalents significantly increased until day 4 and reached a plateau thereafter. A significant correlation was observed between age and number of steps after day 4. Compared with video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery, thoracotomy significantly decreased the number of steps from day 3 to 4.

INTERPRETATION: We found that the level of physical activity varied by index in patients with non-small cell lung cancer who underwent lung resection. Age and surgical procedure affect different periods with the increase in post-operative walking steps.

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