The usefulness of preoperative exercise therapy in patients scheduled for lung cancer surgery; a survey among Dutch pulmonologists and cardiothoracic surgeons

Sjaak Pouwels*, Besir Topal, Joost F. Ter Woorst, Marc P. Buise, Ghada M. Shahin, Martijn A. Spruit, Frank W. J. M. Smeenk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background Preoperative exercise training (PET) studies show promising results in various patient populations. However, the lack of standardised programmes and uniformity in practice guidelines are barriers for implementation. Aim of this study was to assess the current opinions of pulmonologists and cardiothoracic surgeons on the clinical applicability of PET in patients scheduled for lung cancer surgery. Methods Dutch pulmonologists and cardiothoracic surgeons were asked to complete a 29-question survey regarding PET as an additional option to further optimise the health status of patients scheduled for lung cancer surgery. Results In total, 47 respondents (63% response rate), including 30 pulmonologists and 11 cardiothoracic surgeons and 6 residents in training completed the survey. A vast majority of the respondents had a positive attitude towards PET. Home-based exercise was considered less useful, as well as unsupervised exercise. Patient's motivation, improvements in physical capacity and quality of life, and lifestyle adjustments are important factors for the success of PET. The programme should at least contain inspiratory muscle training (95.7%), lifestyle interventions (95.7%), and supervised exercise training (91.5%). Cardiac and pulmonary risk assessment and medication assessment and optimisation were found less important. Conclusion Among pulmonologists and cardiothoracic surgeons, there is a tendency that PET can be a valuable addition to the perioperative care of lung surgery patients. Points of discussion are the contents of PET programmes, and there seems to be a lack of awareness among chest physicians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1983-1989
Number of pages7
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Physical fitness
  • Preconditioning
  • Survey
  • Preoperative exercise therapy
  • Lung cancer surgery
  • RISK

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