Background: Walking is typically the preferred form of physical activity among lung cancer patients. Physical activity can promote and maintain the health of such patients.
Objective: We examined how walking affected the quality of life (QOL) of lung cancer patients, evaluating the factors that predicted changes in walking during a 6-months study.
Methods: This study involved a longitudinal and correlational design, and the instruments comprised the Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire, the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Lung Cancer, and social support and self-efficacy scales.
Results: In total, 107 patients were evaluated for 6 months; the results indicated that the patients completed approximately 217 to 282 minutes of walking per week. The data demonstrated that the frequency of walking exercise decreased or stopped among 36% patients during the 6-month study. A generalized estimating equation analysis indicated significant differences between the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Lung Cancer scores and levels of physical and functional well-being among the lung cancer patients who did and did not engage in walking. Social support, self-efficacy, and patient treatment status can be used to predict the change in walking among lung cancer patients.
Conclusion: Patient QOL can be improved by engaging in walking exercise for 6 months. Regarding lung cancer patients, social support and self-efficacy are the key factors in maintaining walking exercise.
Implications for Practice: Integrating psychological strategies may be required to strengthen the positive effects of walking exercise on the QOL of lung cancer patients.