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Keywords:

  • Physiotherapy;
  • postoperative;
  • guidelines;
  • hip;
  • knee

Abstract

Background

In a Dutch guideline on physiotherapy (PT) in hip and knee osteoarthritis, a number of recommendations on post-acute (i.e. after discharge from hospital) PT following total hip (THA) and total knee (TKA) arthroplasty were included. Little is known about the uptake of these recommendations in daily clinical practice.

Objective

The aim of the present study was to determine the extent to which the guideline recommendations regarding post-acute PT after THA and TKA are followed in daily clinical practice.

Methods

An online pilot survey on the delivery of post-acute, postoperative PT was sent to a random sample of 957 Dutch physiotherapists. The survey included questions on the application of recommended, neither recommended nor advised against, and advised against treatment modalities and various treatment modalities for which there were no formulated recommendations.

Results

A total of 219 physiotherapists completed the questionnaire, with a mean age of 40 years (standard deviation 12.6), 55% female and 95% working in primary care. The vast majority reported the use of the recommended exercise modalities (muscle strengthening exercises (96%), and functional exercises (99%). Continuous passive motion, which was neither recommended nor advised against, and electrical muscle stimulation, which was not recommended, were provided by 1%. Reported treatment modalities for which there were no formulated recommendations included patient education (99%), gait training (95%), active range of motion (ROM) exercises (93%), balance exercises (86%), passive ROM exercises (58%), aerobic exercises (50%), massage (18%) and cold therapy (11%).

Conclusions

The vast majority of physiotherapists reported adhering to recommendations on post-acute postoperative PT in THA and TKA patients after discharge from hospital. Although yet to be confirmed in a larger nationwide survey, the relatively high frequency of use of many other treatment modalities, for which there were no formulated recommendations, suggests the need to extend the current set of recommendations to include evidence-based statements on additional treatment modalities. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.