alexa Physical Therapy Treatment after Cardiac Surgery : A National Survey of Practice in Greece
ISSN: 2155-9880

Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology
Open Access

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Research Article

Physical Therapy Treatment after Cardiac Surgery : A National Survey of Practice in Greece

Constantina Lomi1 and Elisabeth Westerdahl2*
1Department of Physiotherapy, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
2School of Health and Medical Sciences, Orebro University, Orebro, Sweden
Corresponding Author : Elisabeth Westerdahl, PhD, PT
Centre for Health Care Sciences, Orebro University Hospital
Box 1324, SE-701 13 Orebro, Sweden
Tel: +46 19 6025847
Fax: +46 19 6113818
E-mail: [email protected]
Received: April 18, 2013; Accepted: May 10, 2013; Published: May 15, 2013
Citation: Westerdahl E, Lomi C (2013) Physical Therapy Treatment after Cardiac Surgery : A National Survey of Practice in Greece. J Clin Exp Cardiolog S7:004. doi:10.4172/2155-9880.S7-004
Copyright: © 2013 Westerdahl E, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Abstract

Physical therapy is offered to patients undergoing cardiac surgery in many countries. There is limited published data on what physical therapy treatments are provided and what exercises are recommended to patients after cardiac surgery in Europe. The aim of this survey was to establish the current practice of physical therapy for cardiac surgery patients in Greece. A prospective survey was carried out among a total population sample of physical therapists at all public and private cardiothoracic centers in Greece. A postal questionnaire was used to determine the actual physical therapy management of cardiac surgery patients. In total, 45 physical therapists (response rate 78%) from public and private hospitals completed the survey. The mean work experience as physical therapist at a department of cardiothoracic surgery was 10 ± 6 years. Preoperative information was given, according to half of the physical therapists. During the first postoperative days the patients usually received 1 to 6 treatment sessions a day by the physical therapist. Usual physical therapy treatments during the first postoperative days were breathing exercises, coughing techniques, chest wall vibrations, and mobilization. Coughing support was provided to the patients, according to 91% of the physical therapists. Manual coughing support from the physical therapist was the most common technique. In total, 93% of the physical therapists instructed the patients to perform breathing exercises on a regular basis postoperatively. Deep breathing exercises and incentive spirometry were the two most frequently used techniques. Recommendations to continue the breathing exercises for a period of between 3 days and 8 months were given postoperatively. This survey provides an initial insight into physical therapy practice for cardiac surgery patients in Greece. Further comparison between countries is warranted to improve the management of the cardiac surgery patient.

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