Benefits of home-based rehabilitation in lung cancer

Project Details

Despite advances in prevention and treatment, the prognosis for non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains dismal, with a 5-yr survival rate of just 13%. This has improved only minimally in the last 2 decades. Individuals with NSCLC experience a complex plethora of symptoms that provoke significant distress, impair physical function and health related quality of life. They also experience more physical hardship than patients with other cancers. Clearly, alternative approaches are urgently required that significantly improve health related quality of life, maintenance of  highest levels of function and ultimately survival in this fatal and aggressive disease. Our preliminary research provides provocative evidence outlining the insidious functional decline and diminished quality of life that occur in NSCLC.

The goal of this innovative trial is to test a multidisciplinary home based package of exercise, patient self management and motivational strategies aimed at improving functional exercise capacity in people with inoperable NSCLC. The intervention package will comprise two synergistically operating components 1) a home-based, eight week exercise program including resistance exercises and a walking program and 2) disease self management education including symptom management and promotion of exercise adherence using behavior modification strategies with phone follow up. The intervention is designed to be sustainable to allow translation into clinical practice. We will measure functional exercise capacity and quality of life at baseline, 2 and 6 months, qualitative participant feedback, survival and resource use.

This research is clinically based, relevant and aimed at improving the quality of survival of people with NSCLC. The research is designed to be clinically feasible and cost-effective and has the capacity to be widely disseminated and adopted into practice guidelines in this large and vulnerable group.


Denehy, L, Aranda, S, McDonald, C, Krishnasamy, M, Irving, L, Mileshkin, L, Clark, R


National Health and Medical Research Council (2014-2017)

Research Group

Cancer Nursing Research

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Cancer Survivorship, Practice and service improvement, Recovery and Rehabilitation Across the Lifespan

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre


Unit / Centre

Cancer Nursing Research