Researchers assess new approach to post-operative care

With increasing evidence around the benefits of physiotherapy after surgery, a project is set to get underway examining new ways to extend the support.

The BOOST project will investigate how hospitals can deliver more frequent exercise programs for patients with hip fracture, through an innovative model of care involving physiotherapists and other healthcare workers.

The program will be led by the University of Sydney’s A/Professor Alison Harmer and Clinical Lecturer and physiotherapist Marie March, and will be trialled in the Northern Sydney and Western Sydney local health districts.

Sydney Health Partners has provided the initial $25,000 for the trial, which will involve the team from Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital’s physiotherapy department and orthogeriatric service.

Northern Sydney Local Health District Professor Jim Elliott has welcomed the chance to be involved in the project, which he hopes may extend post-operative care.

“We know there are wide ranging benefits of more intensive physiotherapy after surgery, from improved patient mobility to shorter hospital stays,” he said.

“The lack of availability of physiotherapists in many hospitals means this can’t always be delivered adequately and in a timely fashion.”

The research team will be looking at how the existing non-physiotherapy workforce can be trained to deliver high-quality post-operative exercise for patients with hip fracture.

This approach will be evaluated using a variety of methods, including patient outcomes, cost and patient-reported experience.

“We are looking forward to the collaborative project and hope it will help inform future models of care, improving patient outcomes and recovery after some surgeries,” Jim said.