Background: There is uncertainty about the role of preoperative physical activity (PA) level and its influence on postoperative outcomes, especially for patients undergoing cancer surgery. Aim: To investigate if the level of preoperative PA in patients undergoing cancer surgery is associated with postoperative complication rates, length of hospital stay (LOS) and quality of life (QOL). Methods: An electronic search was performed from inception to 26th November 2017 in MEDLINE, Embase, AMED and CINAHL. Studies investigating the association between objective or subjective level of PA and postoperative complication rates, LOS and QOL were included. Risk of bias was assessed using the Quality in Prognosis Studies (QUIPS) tool. When possible, summary odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using random-effect models. Results: 13 studies (5523 unique patients) were included. Overall, most studies were rated as having low or moderate risk of bias. Higher preoperative level of PA was not significantly associated with absence of postoperative complications (OR = 2.60; 95%CI = 0.59 to 11.37) but was significantly associated with shorter LOS (OR = 3.66; 95%CI = 1.38 to 9.6) and postoperative QOL (OR = 1.29; 95%CI = 1.11 to 1.49). Conclusions: The available literature suggests higher levels of preoperative PA in patients undergoing cancer surgery may be associated with better postoperative outcomes, particularly shorter LOS and better QOL. There is a need for high-quality studies investigating the association between preoperative PA and postoperative outcomes. Systematic review registration: PROSPERO 2017 CRD42017082334. Available from:http://www.crd.york.ac.uk/PROSPERO/display_record.php?ID=CRD42017082334.
- Physical activity