Exercise training after burn injury: A survey of practice

Alejandro M. Diego, Michael Serghiou, Anand Padmanabha, Laura J. Porro, David Herndon, Oscar Suman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Exercise programs capable of contributing positively to the long-term rehabilitation of burn patients should be included in outpatient rehabilitation programs. However, the extent and intensity of the resistance and cardiopulmonary exercise prescribed are unclear. This study was conducted to investigate the existence, design, content, and prescription of outpatient cardiopulmonary and resistance exercise programs within outpatient burn rehabilitation. A survey was designed to gather information on existing exercise programs for burn survivors and to assess the extent to which these programs are included in overall outpatient rehabilitation programs. Three hundred and twenty-seven surveys were distributed in the licensed physical and occupational therapists part of the American Burn Association Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy Special Interest Group. One hundred and three surveys were completed. Eighty-two percent of respondents indicated that their institutions offered outpatient therapy after discharge. The frequency of therapists' contact with patients during this period varied greatly. Interestingly, 81% of therapists stated that no hospital-based cardiopulmonary endurance exercise programs were available. Patients' physical function was infrequently determined through the use of cardiopulmonary parameters (oxygen consumption and heart rate) or muscle strength. Instead, more subjective parameters such as range of motion (75%), manual muscle testing (61%), and quality of life (61%) were used. Prescription and follow-up assessment of cardiopulmonary endurance training are inconsistent among institutions, underscoring the need for greater awareness of the importance of exercise in any burn rehabilitation program. Identification of cardiopulmonary and progressive resistance parameters for establishing and tracking exercise training is also needed to maximize exercise-induced benefits.

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Surgery

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