The study aimed to evaluate if perioperative chest physiotherapy modifies the risk of pulmonary morbidity after lobectomy for lung cancer.
We have reviewed a prospectively recorded database of 784 lung cancer patients treated by scheduled lobectomy (361 operated after implementing a new physiotherapy program). No other changes were introduced in the patients’ perioperative management during the study period. A propensity matching score was generated for all eligible patients and two logistic models were constructed and adjusted. The first one (model A) included age of the patient, forced expiratory volume in 1s (percent) (FEV1%) and predicted postoperative forced expiratory volume in 1s (percent) (ppoFEV1%); for the second model (model B); chest physiotherapy was added to the previous ones. Using each model, patients’ individual probability of postoperative complication was calculated and maintained in the database as a new variable (risk A and risk B). Individual risks calculated by both models were plotted on a time series and presented in two different graphs.
Rates of pulmonary morbidity were 15.5% before the intensive physiotherapy program and 4.7% for patients included in the implemented program (p = 0.000). The propensity score identified 359 pairs of patients. Model A included age (p = 0.012), FEV1% (p = 0.000), and ppoFEV1% (p = 0.031) as prognostic variables. Model B included age (p = 0.012), FEV1% (p = 0.000), and physiotherapy (p = 0.000). On graphic representation, a great decrease of the estimated risk could be seen after the onset of the physiotherapy program.
Implementing a program of perioperative intensive chest physiotherapy reduced the overall pulmonary morbidity after lobectomy for lung cancer.
Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2011 Jul;40(1):130-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ejcts.2010.11.028. Epub 2011 Jan 11.