The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of the in-patient chest physiotherapy (ICP) in patients with lung cancer. Eighteen patients with stage IIIA, IIIB, or IV lung cancer (3 females and 15 males) were included. The demographic characteristics and the clinical history of the patients were recorded. Pain (visual analog scale), pulmonary function (pulmonary function test), functional capacity (6-min walking test, Karnofsky performance status (KPS) scale), and health-related quality of life (Nottingham Health Profile (NHP)) parameters were evaluated. The ICP program, including breathing control, breathing exercises, relaxation training, upper and lower extremity exercises, mobilization, and transcutaneous nerve stimulation, was designed to meet each patient’s individual needs. After the exercise program, there was a significant decrease in the severity of the dyspnea, fatigue, and pain symptoms (p < 0.05), improvement in the physical mobility, pain, energy, emotional status and sleep subcategories of the NHP (p < or = 0.05), and increase in the 6-min walking distance (75 +/- 15.95 m, p = 0.003). However, pulmonary function test results and KPS scores did not show statistically significant changes (p > 0.05).
ICP programs may be beneficial to lung cancer patients by reducing respiratory symptoms, pain, and improving health-related quality of life and exercise capacity. For this reason, the results of this study suggest that ICP programs, which are prepared by taking the individual requirements of lung cancer patients, should be placed in the treatment of the lung cancer.