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Impact of postoperative instructions on physical activity following pelvic reconstructive surgery: a randomized controlled trial


Introduction and hypothesis

There is little information on the impact that postoperative instructions have on physical activity to help guide physicians in providing these recommendations after surgery. Our study objective was to evaluate the impact of postoperative instructions on physical activity. We hypothesized that there would be no differential effect of instructions on activity.


In this randomized controlled trial, patients undergoing prolapse repair were randomized to receive either liberal or restricted postoperative activity instructions between February 2017 and February 2019. Physical activity was measured using the Activities Assessment Scale (AAS) and tri-axial accelerometers measured at baseline and 2 and 6 weeks after surgery. A sample size of 146 patients was planned to compare these activity measurements. AAS scores and accelerometer readings of the two groups were compared using separate variance t tests.


A total of 157 women were recruited between February 2017 and February 2019, including 146 patients with completed study data (n = 72 liberal, n = 74 restricted). There was no difference in physical activity at 2 weeks between the liberal and the restricted instruction groups, as measured by AAS scores (70.47 ± 12.83, 69.54 ± 12.22, p = 0.66), total steps (4,582.20 ± 2,164.5, 5,014.47 ± 3,025.46, p = 0.32), active minutes (4.22 ± 6.17, 4.96 ± 9.65, p = 0.25), and 10-min intervals (0.76 ± 1.11, 0.77 ± 0.93, p = 0.95) respectively. Similarly, there was no difference in activity at 6 weeks between the liberal and the restricted instruction groups. as measured by AAS scores (81.86 ± 8.25, 81.31 ± 10.31, p = 0.72), total steps (6,316.25 ± 3,173.53, 6,589.94 ± 3,826.43, p = 0.64), active minutes (8.79 ± 10.5,11.36 ± 18.18, p = 0.98), and 10-min intervals (1.37 ± 1.34, 1.34 ± 1.40, p = 0.89) respectively.


Postoperative instructions do not have an impact on physical activity measures in patients who have undergone pelvic reconstructive surgery.

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D.A.: project development, data collection, data analysis, manuscript writing.

Correspondence to Divya Arunachalam.

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Arunachalam, D., Heit, M.H. Impact of postoperative instructions on physical activity following pelvic reconstructive surgery: a randomized controlled trial. Int Urogynecol J (2020).

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  • Accelerometer
  • Anatomical outcomes
  • Physical activity
  • Postoperative instructions