The concerns and experiences of patients with lumbar spinal stenosis regarding prehabilitation and recovery after spine surgery: a qualitative study.

Alan KH Lam, Ho Yi Fung, Crystal Kwan, Jason Pui Yin Cheung, Keith DK Luk, Alice YY Chiu, Martin Descarreaux, Grace PY Szeto, Arnold Yu Lok Wong (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives
To improve our understanding of patients’ perspectives regarding: (1) the decision-making and prehabilitation before lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) surgery and (2) their postoperative experiences.

Design
Qualitative research with semi-structured interviews.

Setting
General community.

Participants
Individuals who received (N=10) and who did not receive (N=15) prehabilitation before LSS surgery were recruited at the 6-month postoperative follow-up (8 females; average age: 67.7±6.7 years) by purposive sampling. Additionally, 1 participant invited her daughter to accompany her in an interview.

Interventions
Not applicable.

Main Outcome Measures
Concerns and experiences of patients with LSS regarding prehabilitation and recovery after spine surgery.

Results
Thematic analysis was conducted to identify 4 themes inductively: (1) sources of information about LSS surgery; (2) factors affecting the surgical decision-making; (3) attitudes toward prehabilitation; and (4) postoperative recovery. All participants desired to have more preoperative education to inform their surgical decision-making. There were mixed opinions regarding the perceived benefits of prehabilitation because some individuals hesitated to participate in prehabilitation because of their symptoms, or the cost or time of traveling. Many participants expected some or even complete relief of LSS-related symptoms after surgery. However, not all participants experienced the expected postoperative improvements. Some participants only experienced temporary symptomatic relief, while others experienced new postoperative symptoms. Patients generally found that postoperative exercises taught by physiotherapists were useful although their compliance decreased over time.

Conclusions
Our study highlights the need for better preoperative LSS education. Because face-to-face prehabilitation or postoperative rehabilitation may not be feasible for all patients, future studies should explore whether online-based prehabilitation or postoperative rehabilitation may benefit certain patient subgroups.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100227
JournalArchives of Rehabilitation Research and Clinical Translation
Volume4
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Back pain
  • Low back pain
  • Physical therapy modalities
  • Preoperative exercise
  • Qualitative research
  • Spinal stenosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Nursing(all)
  • Psychology(all)

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