The differences between groups in all range of motion and muscle

The differences between groups in all range of motion and muscle strength measures were small and statistically nonsignificant. The total Shoulder Pain and Disability Index score at 1 month was 5.7% (95% CI 0.0 to 11.4) lower (better) for the experimental group than the control group. The total score at 3 months was 7.6% (95% CI 1.7 to 13.6) lower for the experimental group than the control group, indicating significantly better function. Similar changes were seen for the subscale scores, with the experimental

group having significantly lower pain subscale scores than the control group at 1 and 3 months and a significantly lower disability subscale score at 3 months. The differences between groups for the SF-36 summary scores were non-significant, although the physical component score showed a strong trend to be higher for the experimental group than the control group at 3 months. No adverse effects resulting from experimental group interventions were PF-01367338 in vitro reported. This is the first

study to investigate whether a physiotherapy exercise program improves pain, range of motion, muscle strength, shoulder selleck kinase inhibitor function, and quality of life of patients after open thoracotomy. All measures showed deterioration after surgery, with most returning to preoperative levels by 3 months. Statistically significant benefits were found for the experimental group over the control group for shoulder pain and total pain and Adenylyl cyclase function, but no statistically significant differences were found between groups for range of motion, muscle strength or quality of life. There are no data from similar trials to which

our estimates of the treatment effects can be compared. However, our findings of an increase in pain and deterioration in shoulder range of motion at discharge from hospital and improvement over 1 to 3 months concur with previous research (Akcali et al 2003, Hazelrigg et al 1991, Landreneau et al 1993, Li et al 2003, Li et al 2004). Although the sample size was directed by considerations of the primary outcome (Reeve et al 2010), statistical power was more than sufficient to detect a 15° difference in range of motion between groups. Our sample appeared representative of those who commonly undergo this type of surgery (Bonde et al 2002, Gosselink et al 2000, Stephan et al 2000). While the control group received the standard clinical pathway used at Auckland City Hospital, this pathway did not include shoulder or thoracic cage exercises, nor any interventions provided by a physiotherapist. The experimental group received their exercise program from a physiotherapist during hospitalisation. After discharge, however, this took the form of an exercise sheet and diary. While it may have been preferable for the experimental group to have received regular out-patient physiotherapy to monitor and progress the exercises, this was not feasible due to the geographical distance between most participants’ homes and the hospital.

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