Determining clinical practice of expert physiotherapy for patients undergoing lumbar spinal fusion: a cross-sectional survey study

Esther R. C. Janssen, Elle E. M. Scheijen, Nico L. U. van Meeteren, Robert de Bie, Ton Lenssen, Paul C. Willems, Thomas J. Hoogeboom*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Web of Science)


Purpose To determine the content of current Dutch expert hospital physiotherapy practice for patients undergoing lumbar spinal fusion (LSF), to gain insight into expert-based clinical practice. Methods At each hospital where LSF is performed, one expert physiotherapist received an e-mailed questionnaire, about pre- and postoperative physiotherapy and discharge after LSF. The level of uniformity in goals and interventions was graded on a scale from no uniformity (50-60 %) to very strong uniformity (91-100 %). Results LSF was performed at 34 of the 67 contacted hospitals. From those 34 hospitals, 28 (82 %) expert physiotherapists completed the survey. Twenty-one percent of the respondents saw patients preoperatively, generally to provide information. Stated postoperative goals and administered interventions focused mainly on performing transfers safely and keeping the patient informed. Outcome measures were scarcely used. There was no uniformity regarding advice on the activities of daily living. Conclusion Dutch perioperative expert physiotherapy for patients undergoing LSF is variable and lacks structural outcome assessment. Studies evaluating the effectiveness of best-practice physiotherapy are warranted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1533-1541
JournalEuropean Spine Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • Physical therapy modalities
  • Rehabilitation
  • Health surveys

Cite this