OBJECTIVES: Regular physical activity (PA) is considered important after total hip and knee arthroplasty (THA/TKA). Objective was to systematically assess literature on recommendations given by healthcare professionals to persons after THA and TKA and to provide an overview of existing interventions to stimulate PA and sports participation.
METHODS: A systematic review with a narrative synthesis including articles published between January 1995 and January 2021 reporting on recommendations and interventions. The PubMed, Embase, CINAHL and PsycInfo databases were systematically searched for original articles reporting on physical activity and sports recommendations given by healthcare professionals to persons after THA and TKA, and articles reporting on interventions/programs to stimulate a physically active lifestyle after rehabilitation or explicitly defined as part of the rehabilitation. Methodological quality was assessed with the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT). The review was registered in Prospero (PROSPERO:CRD42020178556).
RESULTS: Twenty-one articles reported on recommendations. Low-impact activities were allowed. Contact sports, most ball sports, and martial arts were not recommended. One study informed on whether health-enhancing PA recommendations were used to stimulate persons to become physically active. No studies included recommendations on sedentary behavior. Eleven studies reported on interventions. Interventions used guidance from a coach/physiotherapist; feedback on PA behavior from technology; and face-to-face, education, goal-setting, financial incentives and coaching/financial incentives combined, of which feedback and education seem to be most effective. For methodological quality, 18 out of 21 (86%) articles about recommendations and 7 out of 11 (64%) articles about interventions scored yes on more than half of the MMAT questions (0-5 score).
CONCLUSION: There is general agreement on what kind of sports activities can be recommended by healthcare professionals like orthopedic surgeons and physiotherapists. No attention is given to amount of PA. The same is true for limiting sedentary behavior. The number of interventions is limited and diverse, so no conclusions can be drawn. Interventions including provision of feedback about PA, seem to be effective and feasible.