Published: 2022-05-11 10:40 | Updated: 2022-05-11 10:40

New thesis about physical rehabilitation after abdominal cancer surgery

Hi Andrea Porserud, PhD student at the Division of Physiotherapy, NVS. On June 3 you will defend your thesis ”Taking physical rehabilitation after abdominal cancer surgery further – by enhanced recovery and physical activity”, what's the main focus of the thesis?

Andrea Porserud, PhD student at the Division of Physiotherapy, NVS. Photo: Annika Clemes

After surgery, mobilisation and physical activity are important both in the hospital and at home, in order to regain normal physical function and to avoid complications associated with the operation. My thesis focuses on mobilisation in hospitals and physical rehabilitation after discharge from hospital, for patients undergoing abdominal cancer surgery.

Which are the most important results?

A new method, the Activity Board, with the aim to enhance mobilisation, i.e., sitting, standing or walking, resulted in higher levels of mobilisation and shorter hospital care in patients who used the Activity Board, compared with patients who received usual care after abdominal cancer surgery. In interviews, patients also described that the Activity Board enables participation in postoperative care and makes it easier for them to influence rehabilitation. Furthermore, an exercise intervention in primary care after abdominal cancer surgery was shown to be feasible in terms of safety and to achieve progression in the exercise program.

How can this new knowledge contribute to the improvement of people’s health?

The results of the studies contribute to patients undergoing abdominal cancer surgery can receive support that leads to more mobilisation and faster recovery. The results from the feasibility study on exercise in primary care after abdominal cancer surgery contributes to the design of an RCT study where the effects of rehabilitation are evaluated. The results from the RCT will affect how the continued development of a health care chain for physical rehabilitation after abdominal cancer surgery progresses.

What's in the future for you? Will you keep on conducting research?

Yes, I will have the opportunity to continue research on a part-time basis in this area, primarily in the ongoing RCT study with rehabilitation in primary care after abdominal cancer surgery.

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Andrea Porserud PhD Student