Preoperative exercise therapy for gastrointestinal cancer patients: a systematic review.

Journal: Systematic Reviews

Background: Gastrointestinal cancer patients are susceptible to significant postoperative morbidity. The aim of this systematic review was to examine the effects of preoperative exercise therapy (PET) on patients undergoing surgery for GI malignancies.

Methods: In accordance with PRISMA statement, all prospective clinical trials of PET for patients diagnosed with GI cancer were identified by searching MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Library, ProQuest, PROSPERO, and DARE (March 8, 2017). The characteristics and outcomes of each study were extracted and reviewed. Risk of bias was evaluated using the Cochrane risk of bias tool by two independent reviewers.

Results: Nine studies (534 total patients) were included in the systematic review. All interventions involved aerobic training but varied in terms of frequency, duration, and intensity. PET was effective in reducing heart rate, as well as increasing oxygen consumption and peak power output. The postoperative course was also improved, as PET was associated with more rapid recovery to baseline functional capacity after surgery.

Conclusions: PET for surgical patients with gastrointestinal malignancies may improve physical fitness and aid in postoperative recovery.

Sarah Vermillion, Alston James, Robert Dorrell, Peter Brubaker, Shannon Mihalko, Adrienne Hill, Clancy Clark

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