Objective: To investigate, in lung cancer patients awaiting elective surgery, the feasibility of delivering a novel four-week multimodal prehabilitation intervention and its effects on preoperative functional capacity and health-related quality of life (HRQoL), compared to standard hospital care.
Methods: Adult patients awaiting elective thoracotomy for lung cancer stages I, II or IIIa, were approached to participate in an open-label, randomized controlled trial of two parallel arms: multimodal prehabilitation combining a mixed-nutrient supplement with structured supervised and home-based exercise training, and relaxation-strategies (Prehab) or standard hospital care (Control). Feasibility was assessed based on recruitment and adherence rates to the intervention and study outcome assessment. Functional capacity, measured by the 6-min walk test (6MWT), and HRQoL were measured at baseline and after four weeks (preoperative).
Results: Within 5 months, 34 patients were enrolled and randomized (2:1) to Prehab (n = 24; median age = 67 years) or Control (n = 10; median age = 69 years); recruitment rate of 58.6%. The study was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Adherence to the prescribed intensity of the supervised exercise program was 84.1% (SD 23.1). Self-reported adherence to the home-based exercise program was 88.2% (SD 21) and to the nutritional supplement, 93.2% (SD 14.2). Adherence to patients' preoperative assessment was 82% and 88% in Prehab and Control, respectively. The mean adjusted difference in 4-week preoperative 6MWT between groups was 37.7 m (95% CI, -6.1 to 81.4), p = 0.089. There were no differences in HRQoL between groups.
Conclusion: Within a preoperative timeframe, it was feasible to deliver this novel multimodal prehabilitation intervention in lung cancer patients awaiting surgery.
Keywords: Nutrition and exercise; Prehab; Preoperative; Six-minute walk test.
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