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Abstract

Objective

To investigate the effect of a 12-session walking skill training program of weight-bearing activities on physical functioning and self-efficacy initiated in patients 3 months after total hip arthroplasty (THA).

Methods

Sixty-eight patients with THA, 35 women and 33 men, with a mean age of 66 years (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 64, 67 years), were randomized to a training group (n = 35) or a control group without physiotherapy (n = 33). Assessments were performed before the intervention at 3 months (pretest), at 5 months (posttest 1), and at 12 months (posttest 2) after surgery. The primary outcome was the 6-minute walk test (6MWT). The secondary outcomes were the stair climbing test (ST); figure-of-eight test; Index of Muscle Function (IMF); active hip range of motion (ROM) in flexion, extension, and abduction; Harris Hip Score (HHS); self-efficacy; and Hip Dysfunction and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score.

Results

The training group had larger improvements than the control group at posttest 1 on the 6MWT with an adjusted mean difference of 52 meters (95% CI 29, 74 meters; P < 0.001) and on the ST of −1 second (95% CI −2, 0 seconds; P = 0.01).There were also improvements on the figure-of-eight test (P = 0.02), IMF (P = 0.001), active hip ROM in extension (P = 0.02), HHS (P = 0.05), and self-efficacy (P = 0.04). The difference between the groups persisted at posttest 2 on the 6MWT of 52 meters (95% CI 24, 80 meters; P < 0.001) and on the ST of −1 second (95% CI −3, 0 seconds; P = 0.05).

Conclusion

The walking skill training program was effective, especially in improving walking both immediately after the intervention and 1 year after THA surgery.