Purpose: To examine the effect of physical activity on the physical and psychosocial symptoms of lung cancer survivors. Methods: A longitudinal design was used in this study. Participants were recruited from the chest and surgical departments of medical centers in Taiwan. The instruments used were the Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire and the Taiwanese version of the M.D. Anderson Symptom Inventory. Results: In total, 185 survivors were followed up for 6 months (response rate 66 %). Disturbed sleep was the most prevalent symptom in the participants. A generalized estimating equation (GEE) method was employed to analyze the relationships among intensity of physical activity, symptom severity, and symptom interference in the daily life of the participants. Regarding symptom severity, significant differences were observed in fatigue, drowsiness, and disturbed sleep between the participants who engaged in moderate physical activity and those who did not engage in any physical activity. Regarding symptom interference, the participants who engaged in light physical activity experienced a significantly lower level of symptom interference than did those with a sedentary lifestyle. Conclusion: This is the first study to explore the role of physical activity in alleviating symptoms in lung cancer survivors by using the GEE method. The results suggest that physical activity plays an essential role in alleviating the physical and psychological symptoms of lung cancer survivors.
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