Background: Although many surgical innovations are said to "shorten recovery," recovery has not been consistently defined or measured. The goal of this study was to assess the validity of a physical activity questionnaire (The Community Health Activities Model Program for Seniors [CHAMPS]) as an indicator of postoperative recovery.
Methods: CHAMPS includes 41 questions asking the subject to estimate the time spent on a range of activities in the previous week; responses are converted into kcal/kg/wk. Patients scheduled for laparoscopic cholecystectomy were assessed preoperatively, 1 week and 1 month postoperatively (sensitivity to change). To assess construct validity, results were compared with other measures used to estimate recovery, including pain (VAS), health-related quality of life (SF-36), and complications. CHAMPS was also compared with a measure of exercise capacity, the 6-minute walk test (6MWT). Data expressed as median (IQR).
Results: A total of 50 patients, 72% female, mean (SD) age 51 (17) years, participated. CHAMPS-estimated energy expenditure decreased from 42 [25-64] preop to 18 [9-30] kcal/kg/wk (P < .001) 1 week postoperatively. It remained below baseline at 30 [16-61] kcal/kg/wk 1 month postoperatively (P = .042). At all time points, SF-36 Physical Function, pain with movement, and 6MWT distance significantly correlated with CHAMPS. At 1 month, physical activity was lower in patients reporting complications (16 [10-32] vs 42 [18-77], P < .01).
Conclusion: Evidence is provided for construct validity for a physical activity questionnaire as a measure of surgical recovery.