According to a new study, a simple walking test can predict the risk for cognitive issues in patients with heart surgery.
Also, how much a patient walks in 6 minutes can help predict if they will develop problems such as attention, concentration and memory after the surgery.
For the study, the team examined 181 patients who were undergoing non-emergency heart surgery between March 2014 and August 2015.
“This study indicates that the easy and inexpensive 6-minute walk distance (6MWD) us a valuable assessment for identifying patients at a high risk for PCOD,” said the lead author the study, Kazuhiro Hayashi.
He added that if they would be able to diagnose patients with PCOD at an early stage, they would be able to encourage them to better understand the dysfunction.
The study showed that a low 6MWD was associated with PCOD after cardiac surgery. The lower the 6MWD was, the more significant the reduction in cognitive function postoperatively was and 28 % of the study patients developed PCOD.
“This study further highlights the need for the healthcare team to undertake a more detailed assessment of patients’ physical fitness before the operation. The 6MWD is an important component of this evaluation,” said Rakesh C. Arora.
According to Dr Arora, the healthcare team should consider prehabilitation as a strategy to optimize the patient’s fitness before their operations.
“Prehabilitation may be of benefit to patients with poor physical fitness by improving postoperative recovery and post-discharge functional survival,” said Dr Arora. “Patient self-management and follow-through are essential, however, as is the patient’s understanding of their health issues and their proposed plan of care.”
The findings were published in the Journal of The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
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