Objective: To investigate the feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of a home-based intensive exercise program to improve physical health of frail elderly patients scheduled for elective total hip arthroplasty (THA).
Design: Single-blind pilot randomized controlled trial.
Setting: Patients' homes and a general hospital in The Netherlands.
Participants: Frail patients (N=30) older than 65 years.
Intervention: A preoperative, home-based program supervised by an experienced physical therapist to train functional activities and walking capacity. The control group received usual care consisting of 1 session of instructions.
Main outcome measures: Feasibility was determined on the basis of adherence to treatment, patient satisfaction, adverse events, walking distance (measured with a pedometer), and intensity of exercise (evaluated with the Borg scale). Preliminary pre- and postoperative effectiveness was determined by the Timed Up & Go (TUG) test, 6-minute walk test (6MWT), Chair Rise Time, and self-reported measures of functions, activities, and participation.
Results: Patient satisfaction and adherence to the training were good (median=5 on a 5-point Likert scale) and no serious adverse events occurred. The Borg score during training was 14 (range, 13-16). Preoperative clinical relevant differences on the TUG test (2.9 s; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.9 to 6.6) and significant differences on the 6MWT (41 m; 95% CI, 8 to 74) were found between groups.
Conclusions: Intensive preoperative training at home is feasible for frail elderly patients waiting for THA and produces relevant changes in functional health. A larger multicenter randomized controlled trial is in progress to investigate the (cost-)effectiveness of preoperative training.
Copyright © 2012 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.