Original Research

Preoperative physiotherapy education for patients undergoing colorectal cancer resection

Megan J. Whelan, Ronel Roos, Marelee Fourie, Heleen van Aswegen
South African Family Practice | Vol 65, No 1 : Part 1| a5614 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v65i1.5614 | © 2023 Megan J. Whelan, Ronel Roos, Marelee Fourie, Heleen van Aswegen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 July 2022 | Published: 06 January 2023

About the author(s)

Megan J. Whelan, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Ronel Roos, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Marelee Fourie, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Heleen van Aswegen, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Surgical resection is a common treatment for patients with colorectal cancer. Patients undergoing surgery are at risk of functional deterioration as a response to surgical stress. Furthermore, patients with cancer often present with systemic problems as well as a functional decline. The study aimed to create a framework for preoperative education for patients undergoing colorectal cancer resection.

Methods: Five databases were utilised to find intervention-based studies describing the content, mode, setting and timing of delivery of preoperative education for patients undergoing abdominal surgery. Physiotherapists were purposively sampled to participate in a focus group session using a seven-step nominal group technique (NGT) with the goal to reach consensus on the proposed content of a preoperative patient education programme.

Results: Seventeen studies were reviewed. Results indicate that the mode and timing of the education provided are heterogenous. Content included in the education programs described were breathing exercises, coughing techniques, verbal advice, physical exercises, surgical information, postoperative pain management, nutritional support, relaxation techniques and information about postoperative complications. Six physiotherapists participated in the focus group discussion. Ideas generated in the focus group were similar to those described in the literature.

Conclusion: Results from both the narrative review and the focus group session assisted the authors to develop a framework for the content, timing, setting and mode of delivery of physiotherapy preoperative education for patients undergoing surgical resection for colorectal cancer.

Contribution: The framework can be used to inform a physiotherapy preoperative education programme for patients undergoing surgery for colorectal cancer.

 


Keywords

preoperative education; framework; colorectal cancer; abdominal surgery; physiotherapy

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