Optimizing the pre-operative risk profile of older adults undergoing elective cardiac surgery: a randomized controlled trial

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Stammers, Andrew
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This study determined whether pre-operative exercise and education (PREHAB) improves the frailty status and physical activity behaviour of older adults undergoing elective cardiac surgery, more than standard care (StanC). Using a subset of patients from a multi-centre trial (NCT02219815), twenty-six patients over the age of sixty were randomized to receive StanC (n=12) or PREHAB (n=14). Blinded research assistants collected data at baseline prior to randomization and one week pre-operatively. Changes in frailty were assessed using a 30-item functional frailty index (FFI); whereas, changes in physical activity behaviour were assessed using accelerometers. Baseline data was not different between groups. Frailty status improved by 17%, 5% and 35% amongst StanC, PREHAB “non-completers” and PREHAB “completers”, respectively. No changes in moderate to vigorous physical activity were found pre-operatively. These data suggest that the PREHAB intervention is feasible to implement and may result in improved frailty status amongst frail older adults awaiting elective cardiac surgery.
Preventative medicine, Cardiac surgery, Cardiovascular disease, Clinical trials, Frailty