Research has shown that individuals diagnosed with lung cancer suffer from decreased exercise capacity and health-related quality of life. There is a need to determine the effect of specific exercise intervention on exercise capacity and health-related quality of life in the non–small cell lung cancer population in order for exercise to be incorporated into the standard of care.
The purpose of this systematic review was to determine the effects of exercise training on exercise capacity and quality of life in patients who have undergone treatment for non–small cell lung cancer.
Three databases were searched for articles that met the inclusion criteria. The search resulted in a total of 332 articles with 16 that met the criteria for inclusion.
Eight of the 16 studies showed significant improvement in exercise capacity and 4 showed significant improvement in quality of life with exercise training.
Discussion and Limitations:
This review provided limited evidence that exercise training in addition to usual care will provide improvement in overall exercise capacity and quality of life in this population. Limitations included reports of small sample size in the articles included, few databases searched, and heterogeneity of exercise programs.
This systematic review supports exercise training as a method for improving exercise capacity and health-related quality of life in patients who have been diagnosed with non–small cell lung cancer. Further research must be done with more subjects and exercise protocols to make specific recommendations for exercise training in this population.