Physical Activity Behavior After a Diagnosis of Lung Cancer Differs Between Countries: An Observational Cohort Study

Integr Cancer Ther. 2018 Jun;17(2):493-502. doi: 10.1177/1534735417699513. Epub 2017 Mar 24.


Introduction: Physical activity (PA) is important in lung cancer.

Objectives: To investigate PA levels and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of patients with lung cancer in China and compare this to a similar cohort in Australia.

Methods: Prospective cohort study. 71 patients from China (group CH) and 90 patients from Australia (group AU) with newly diagnosed lung cancer. Questionnaires assessed self-reported PA levels and HRQoL at baseline (diagnosis) and 8 weeks.

Results: At baseline, group CH were engaged in less overall PA than group AU (Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly [PASE] total score: median [IQR] group CH, 56 [32-59]; group AU, 66 [38-116]; P < .005), and less occupational and household activity ( P < .005). However, at baseline, group CH reported significantly more walking time than group AU (median [IQR]: group CH, 210 [150-315] min/wk; group AU, 55[0-210] min/wk; P < .0005). Global HRQoL scores were similar between groups (P = .038). Over 8 weeks, group CH increased their overall PA levels ( P < .005) and walking time ( P = .008), and HRQoL remained unchanged. The comparison group AU experienced a reduction in PA levels ( P = .02) and HRQoL ( P < .005).

Conclusions: A diagnosis, patients in China were less physically active than those in Australia. Following diagnosis, patients in China increased their PA levels, whereas those in Australia reduced their PA levels. Research is required to explore potential reasons behind differences, and this may inform research/clinical services to facilitate patients with lung cancer to be more active.

Keywords: exercise; international; lung cancer; physical activity; quality of life.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Australia
  • China
  • Cohort Studies
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Self Report
  • Surveys and Questionnaires