Introduction: Elderly people are at the higher risk of colon cancer. Most of them request surgery. Main goal of physiotherapy after major abdominal surgery (MAS) is prevention postoperative complications and reduction of functional limitation. Physical activity level and functional status are close connected for 65+ patients. Daily activity independence, mental efficiency and well-being depend on physical activity level of elderly people. The aim of this study was to determine the correlations between physical activity level, functional status and lung function of elderly people in early postoperative physiotherapy period.
Material and methods : Prospective randomized study involved 34 patients scheduled for elective MAS, aged 65+. Patients were randomly assigned to receive PNF or conventional physiotherapy. The study included forced spirometry (FVC, FEV1, PEF) and functional tests (gait speed, up&go). Measurements were performed before surgery and the fourth day after surgery. Also analyzed age, sex, BMI and the level of postoperative independence (postoperative independence scale SAP). Training intensity and capacity was the same in both groups. Kolmogorow-Smirnow test was used to check normal distribution, t-Student was used to check whether two sets of data differ significantly, and r- Pearsons for correlations testing. P values <0.05 were considered significant.
Results: After surgery the time of gait speed test and up and go test was significant longer in comparison to preoperative value. FVC%, FEV1%, PEF% values decreased. Level of physical activity had influence on results in evaluated tests of walking and lung ventilation. There was no significant changes after surgery to preoperative value for these measurements in high physical activity group. High active group had better results on SAP scale than low and middle activity group.
Conclusions: MAS decrees efficiency of lung ventilation and walking after 65 year old in early postoperative period. High physical activity level patients scheduled for major abdominal surgery had positive impact on postoperative lung ventilation, ability and independence in walking in hospital period.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.