Predictors of improvement following early exercises rehabilitation program for patients undergoing open lumbar discectomy

Rasha Ali Ahmed Abdelmowla, Rania M. Gamal, Mirette M. Aziz, Walid A. Abdel Ghany, Roshdy Elkhayat


Background and aims: Low back pain is mostly due to disc herniation and has a burden upon economy and social aspects of life. Failure to improve after open lumbar discectomy is frustrating. Therefore, identifying predictors of improvement is of great clinical benefit. Aims: This research was conducted to evaluate whether an early exercises rehabilitation program using educational booklet would provide benefit to patients following open lumbar discectomy and determine potential factors of improvement.

Patients and methods: Design: Single blind randomized controlled trial. Eighty-eight patients scheduled for open lumbar discectomy from January 2017 to January 2019 at Assiut and Ain Shams Universities hospitals in Egypt were randomly assigned to two groups. Control group (n = 44) received routine postoperative instructions while intervention group (n = 44) received routine instructions in addition to early exercises rehabilitation program and were also provided with a specifically designed educational booklet. Patients were followed up after six months using Oswestry disability index.

Results: There was significant improvement among intervention group as compared to control group in several domains of Oswestry disability index (walking, sitting, standing, sleeping, travelling and sexual and social life). Better pre-operative Oswestry disability index score and early application of exercises rehabilitation program using an educational booklet predicted better postoperative Oswestry disability index score after six months.

Conclusion: Application of an early exercise rehabilitation program and providing patients with a specifically designed educational booklet would be helpful for patients following open lumbar discectomy. Clinical Relevance: Early exercises rehabilitation program can be used by nursing staff as a reference in management of patients following open lumbar discectomy.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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