Researchers from the palliative and end of life care theme have tested a new model of rehabilitation to support people with newly diagnosed lung cancer or mesothelioma in a multi-centre feasibility trial. 

The trial found people with thoracic cancer are interested and take up the opportunity to participate in early individualised rehabilitation following diagnosis.

Man pushing elderly woman in wheelchair and walking dog in the park

The rehabilitation components aimed to minimise the onset of disability following a cancer diagnosis, by optimising symptom self-management, physical fitness, and social participation. All were valued and prioritised by patients, their families, and the clinicians providing care.

The trial ran for one year across three sites in London and Nottingham. Fifty-four people (34% of those eligible) participated and the majority provided outcome data at thirty and sixty days (82% and 72% respectively). This showed it was feasible to test the efficacy of this model of intervention in a future effectiveness trial.

Methods to integrate this model of rehabilitation within cancer services could include co-locating in oncology clinic space, patient-held rehabilitation plans, and demonstrating direct benefits to oncology practice via treatment completion.

Read the paper: Short-term integrated rehabilitation for people with newly diagnosed thoracic cancer: a multi-centre randomized controlled feasibility trial

Find out more about the research project.