Background: Commercial wrist-worn activity monitors have the potential to accurately assess activity levels and are being increasingly adopted in the general population. The aim of this study was to determine if feedback from a commercial activity monitor improves activity levels over the first 6 weeks after total hip arthroplasty (THA) or total knee arthroplasty (TKA).
Methods: One hundred sixty-three consecutive subjects undergoing primary TKA or THA were randomized into 2 groups. Subjects received an activity tracker with the step display obscured 2 weeks before surgery and completed patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs). On day 1 after surgery, participants were randomized to either the "feedback (FB) group" or the "no feedback (NFB) group." The FB group was able to view their daily step count and was given a daily step goal. Participants in the NFB group wore the device with the display obscured for 2 weeks after surgery, after which time they were also able to see their daily step count but did not receive a formal step goal. The mean daily steps at 1, 2, 6 weeks, and 6 months were monitored. At 6 months after surgery, subjects repeated PROMs and daily step count collection.
Results: Of the 163 subjects, 95 underwent THA and 68 underwent TKA. FB subjects had a significantly higher (P < .03) mean daily step count by 43% in week 1, 33% in week 2, 21% in week 6, and 17% at 6 months, compared with NFB. The FB subjects were 1.7 times more likely to achieve a mean 7000 steps per day than the NFB subjects at 6 weeks after surgery (P = .02). There was no significant difference between the groups in PROMs at 6 months. Ninety percent of FB and 83% of NFB participants reported that they were satisfied with the results of the surgery (P = .08). At 6 months after surgery, 70% of subjects had a greater mean daily step count compared with their preoperative level.
Conclusion: Subjects who received feedback from a commercial activity tracker with a daily step goal had significantly higher activity levels after hip and knee arthroplasty over 6 weeks and 6 months, compared with subjects who did not receive feedback in a randomized controlled trial. Commercial activity trackers may be a useful and effective adjunct after arthroplasty.
Keywords: accelerometer; activity tracker; hip arthroplasty; knee arthroplasty; patient-reported outcomes; steps.
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