Pre-operative physiotherapy for elderly patients undergoing abdominal surgery

South African Journal of Physiotherapy

Field Value
Title Pre-operative physiotherapy for elderly patients undergoing abdominal surgery
Creator Labuschagne, Rozelle Roos, Ronel
Subject Health Sciences abdominal surgery; DEMMI; elderly; function; pre-operative; prehabilitation; physiotherapy; 6-minute walk test
Description Background: Elderly patients report a decrease in function and activities of daily living following abdominal surgery. The objectives of our pilot study were to determine the effects of a single pre-operative physiotherapy session consisting of education and exercise on clinical and physical function outcomes in elderly patients.Methods/design: A single-blind pilot randomised controlled trial evaluated clinical and functional outcomes of elderly patients following surgery in a private hospital in Pretoria, South Africa. The outcomes included length of hospital stay (LOS), postoperative pulmonary complications (PPC), first mobilisation uptime, DeMorton Mobility Index (DEMMI), 6-minute walk test (6MWT), Lawton–Brody’s instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) and the Functional Comorbidity Index (FCI). Descriptive and inferential statistics were undertaken, and statistical significance was set at p ≤ 0.05.Discussion: Twelve participants (n = 11 female [91.67%] and n = 1 [8.33%] male) with a mean age of 65.75 (±4.47) years were included. Most participants (n = 10, 83.33%) underwent lower abdominal laparotomy (n = 10, 83.33%). The median hospital LOS was n = 4 (IQR 3.25–4) days; walking distance at first mobilisation was 130 m (IQR (85–225), with intervention participants walking further (intervention: 177 m, IQR 100–242.50; control: 90, IQR 60 m – 245 m; p = 0.59). Recruitment was low, with only 10.95% referrals and 47.82% nonconsents.Conclusion: A single physiotherapy session prior to surgery demonstrated a potential favourable change in elderly patients’ mobility postoperatively; however, further research is necessary.Clinical implication: A once-off pre-operative physiotherapy session could enhance recovery in elderly patients.Trial registration: Pan African Clinical Trial Registry, PACTR201809874713904,
Publisher AOSIS
Contributor This work is based on the research supported in part by the National Research Foundation of South Africa Thuthuka Programme (Grant Numbers: TTK190318423762) Research Foundation, South African Society of Physiotherapy (Grant number RC2019/02/02).
Date 2022-09-27
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — Randomized control trial
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/sajp.v78i1.1782
Source South African Journal of Physiotherapy; Vol 78, No 1 (2022); 9 pages 2410-8219 0379-6175
Language eng
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Coverage — — Elderly; male and female
Rights Copyright (c) 2022 Rozelle Labuschagne, Ronel Roos