The effectiveness of physiotherapy interventions on pain and quality of life in adults with persistent post-surgical pain compared to usual care: A systematic review

Autoři: Aleisha Robinson aff001;  Jenna McIntosh aff001;  Hamish Peberdy aff001;  David Wishart aff001;  Georgia Brown aff001;  Henry Pope aff001;  Saravana Kumar aff001
Působiště autorů: University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia aff001
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article



Persistent post-surgical pain (PPSP) is a common condition following surgery, resulting in persistent pain and reduced quality of life (QoL). While pharmacological management is common, its effectiveness remains equivocal. This systematic review investigated the effectiveness of physiotherapy management in adults with PPSP in comparison to usual care.


A systematic search of six electronic databases was conducted. Studies of human adults (>18 years) with PPSP localised or directly referred from the surgical site, pain persisting for at least two months post-surgery and with physiotherapy as the intervention were included. This review was conducted and reported in line with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement. The McMaster critical review form for quantitative studies was utilised to assess the methodological quality. A descriptive synthesis was undertaken due to the heterogeneity of the included studies.


Of the 1395 articles that were screened, eight studies met the inclusion criteria. A diverse range of physiotherapy interventions were utilised, and effectiveness was measured through diverse outcomes and measures. Summarised findings from the heterogenous evidence base indicated that physiotherapy interventions for PPSP has a positive impact across a range of outcomes, including pain, quality of life (QoL), physical function and depression. While these are encouraging findings, the current evidence base lacks uniformity with regards to participant characteristics, time periods since diagnosis, interventions delivered, and its parameters, and outcomes measured.


Due to ongoing challenges in the management of PPSP, alternate treatment strategies such as physiotherapy are being trialled. Despite a number of methodological constraints, current evidence indicates that physiotherapy could play a role in the management of PPSP.

PROSPERO registration


Klíčová slova:

Comparators – Database searching – Depression – Exercise therapy – Physiotherapy – Sports and exercise medicine – Surgical and invasive medical procedures – Systematic reviews


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