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Surgery Research and Practice
Volume 2016, Article ID 9717489, 11 pages
Research Article

Physiotherapy Practice Patterns for Management of Patients Undergoing Thoracic Surgeries in India: A Survey

Department of Physiotherapy, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Bejai, Mangalore 575004, India

Received 29 July 2016; Accepted 4 October 2016

Academic Editor: Giuseppe Marulli

Copyright © 2016 Sagarika Sultanpuram et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aim. The aim of the current study is to determine the practice patterns of physiotherapists for patients undergoing thoracic surgeries in India. Materials and Methodology. A cross-sectional survey was conducted across India in which 600 questionnaires were sent in emails to physiotherapists. The questionnaire addressed assessment and treatment techniques of thoracic surgery. Results. A total of 234 completed questionnaires were returned with a response rate of 39%, with the majority of responses received from Telangana, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. More than 90% of the responders practiced physical examination, chest expansion, chest X-ray, ABG analysis, pulmonary function test, and SpO2 (oxygen saturation) as the assessment measures in both the pre- and the postoperative phase. Breathing exercises, incentive spirometry, thoracic expansion exercises, coughing and huffing, positioning, and modified postural drainage are found to be commonly used physiotherapy interventions, both pre- and postoperatively, with a response rate of more than 90%. A response rate of more than 84.6% indicated that patients are made to dangle their lower limbs over the edge of the bed on the 1st postoperative day. Mobilization, such as walking up to a chair, sit to stand exercises, and perambulation within the patient’s room, was started on the 2nd postoperative day, as stated by more than 65% of the physiotherapists. Staircase climbing was started on the 5th postoperative day. The most commonly used functional evaluation prior to discharge was 6-minute walk test. This was, in fact, practiced by 77.4% of the physiotherapists in their clinical settings. Conclusion. The most predominantly employed assessment measures included were physical examination, chest expansion, ABG analysis, pulmonary function test, chest X-ray, SpO2 (oxygen saturation), peripheral muscle strength, and cardiopulmonary exercise. The physiotherapy interventions most commonly used were breathing exercises, thoracic expansion exercises, incentive spirometry, and coughing and huffing techniques, in both the pre- and the postoperative phase.