Prehab physios win cardiothoracic research award

A cardiothoracic physiotherapy team won recognition for its research, after making a presentation to the Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons (SCTS).


The winning research team: specialist cardiac physiotherapist Katie Lyon, cardiothoracic team lead physiotherapist Fiona Nolan, and specialist thoracic physiotherapist Natalie Lambie

The team from Golden Jubilee National Hospital, Glasgow, won the SCTS cardiothoracic forum best paper award at the society’s annual conference, in Belfast this March.

Its paper, which triumphed over 38 other papers presented during the two-day event, focused on the team’s current research into physiotherapy prehab for cardiac and thoracic surgery.

Speaking on behalf of the team, Fiona Nolan, chief investigator and a specialist cardiothoracic physiotherapist, said they were trying to establish whether a home-based preoperative physiotherapy programme can improve patients’ functional capacity before surgery.

They also wanted to see whether it would enhance their post-operative recovery; and promote earlier recovery of functional capacity.

‘We hope our research will result in patients being better prepared physically for their surgery and having a clearer understanding of the importance of this,’ she said.

‘Ultimately, this has the potential to lead to a quicker recovery and earlier discharge from physiotherapy and a decrease in hospital length of stay.’

Ms Nolan added that physiotherapy prehab may be the next step in ‘revolutionising enhanced recovery after surgery’. It could allow patients to optimise their physical state preoperatively, as well as improving post-operative outcomes and changing attitudes towards long-term physical activity.

The team’s research started last year and is expected to be completed by December 2017.

Author: Robert Millett

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