PREOPERATIVE REHABILITATION IS FEASIBLE IN THE WEEKS PRIOR TO SURGERY AND SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVES FUNCTIONAL PERFORMANCE
D.E. Hall, A. Youk, K. Allsup, K. Kennedy, T.D. Byard, R. Dhupar, D. Chu, A.M. Rahman, M. Wilson, L.P. Cahalin, J. Afilalo, D. Forman
Background: Frailty is a multidimensional state of increased vulnerability. Frail patients are at increased risk for poor surgical outcomes. Prior research demonstrates that rehabilitation strategies deployed after surgery improve outcomes by building strength.
Objectives: Examine the feasibility and impact of a novel, multi-faceted prehabilitation intervention for frail patients before surgery.
Design: Single arm clinical trial.
Setting: Veterans Affairs hospital.
Participants: Patients preparing for major abdominal, urological, thoracic, or cardiac surgery with frailty identified as a Risk Analysis Index≥30.
Intervention: Prehabilitation started in a supervised setting to establish safety and then transitioned to home-based exercise with weekly telephone coaching by exercise physiologists. Prehabilitation included (a)strength and coordination training; (b)respiratory muscle training (IMT); (c)aerobic conditioning; and (d)nutritional coaching and supplementation. Prehabilitation length was tailored to the 4-6 week time lag typically preceding each participant’s normally scheduled surgery.
Measurements: Functional performance and patient surveys were assessed at baseline, every other week during prehabilitation, and then 30 and 90 days after surgery. Within-person changes were estimated using linear mixed models.
Results: 43 patients completed baseline assessments; 36(84%) completed a median 5(range 3-10) weeks of prehabilitation before surgery; 32(74%) were retained through 90-day follow-up. Baseline function was relatively low. Exercise logs show participants completed 94% of supervised exercise, 78% of prescribed IMT and 74% of home-based exercise. Between baseline and day of surgery, timed-up-and-go decreased 2.3 seconds, gait speed increased 0.1 meters/second, six-minute walk test increased 41.7 meters, and the time to complete 5 chair rises decreased 1.6 seconds(all P≤0.007). Maximum and mean inspiratory and expiratory pressures increased 4.5, 7.3, 14.1 and 13.5 centimeters of water, respectively(all P≤0.041).
Conclusions: Prehabilitation is feasible before major surgery and achieves clinically meaningful improvements in functional performance that may impact postoperative outcomes and recovery. These data support rationale for a larger trial powered to detect differences in postoperative outcomes.
D.E. Hall ; A. Youk ; K. Allsup ; K. Kennedy ; T.D. Byard ; R. Dhupar ; D. Chu ; A.M. Rahman ; M. Wilson ; L.P. Cahalin ; J. Afilalo ; D. Forman ; (2022): Preoperative Rehabilitation Is Feasible in the Weeks Prior to Surgery and Significantly Improves Functional Performance. The Journal of Frailty and Aging (JFA). http://dx.doi.org/10.14283/jfa.2022.42