Acute changes in handgrip strength, lung function and health-related quality of life following cardiac surgery

Mgbemena, Nnamdi, Jones, Anne, Saxena, Pankaj, Ang, Nicholas, Senthuran, Siva, and Leicht, Anthony (2022) Acute changes in handgrip strength, lung function and health-related quality of life following cardiac surgery. PLoS ONE, 17 (2).

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Handgrip strength (HGS), lung function and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) are relevant indicators of future cardiovascular risk and mortality. The impact of cardiac surgery on these predictive variables has been under-explored. The aim of this study was to determine the acute (within hospital) changes in HGS, lung function and HRQoL, and their relationships, in adults undergoing elective cardiac surgery. Further, the study examined the relationship between these variables and the predictors for lung function and HRQoL in these patients.


The study was a prospective cohort study that involved 101 patients who completed pre-operative (1–2 days before surgery) and physiotherapy discharge (5–7 days after surgery) assessments. Handgrip strength, lung function and HRQoL were assessed using JAMAR dynamometers, Vitalograph-Alpha or EasyOne spirometer, and Short-Form 36 questionnaire, respectively. Changes in these variables and their relationships were analysed using paired t-test and Pearson correlation coefficients, respectively. Prediction of lung function and HRQoL using HGS and other co-variates was conducted using regression analysis.


At the time of physiotherapy discharge, lung function, HGS and the physical component of HRQoL were significantly (<0.001) reduced compared to their pre-operative values. Significant (<0.001) and moderate correlations were identified between HGS and lung function at pre-operation and physiotherapy discharge. Handgrip strength was a significant predictor of lung function pre-operatively but not at physiotherapy discharge. Pre-operative lung function and HRQoL, as well as other variables, were significant predictors of lung function and HRQoL during physiotherapy discharge.


Undergoing cardiac surgery acutely and significantly reduced lung function, HGS and physical component of HRQoL in adults with cardiac disease. Assessment of HGS at physiotherapy discharge may be a poor indicator of operative changes in lung function and HRQoL. Clinicians may consider HGS as an inadequate tool in predicting lung function and HRQoL following cardiac surgery.

Item ID: 72631
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Copyright Information: © 2022 Mgbemena et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Funders: James Cook University (JCU)
Projects and Grants: JCU College of Healthcare Sciences
Research Data:
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2022 02:59
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4201 Allied health and rehabilitation science > 420106 Physiotherapy @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2001 Clinical health > 200101 Diagnosis of human diseases and conditions @ 50%
20 HEALTH > 2002 Evaluation of health and support services > 200202 Evaluation of health outcomes @ 50%
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