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The impact of physical training on length of hospital stay and physical function in patients hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia: protocol for a randomized controlled trial

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BACKGROUND: Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a leading cause of hospitalization worldwide. Bed rest with low levels of physical activity is common during periods of hospitalization and leads to functional decline as well as increased risk of complications. The aim of this study is to assess the effect of supervised physical training during hospitalization with CAP compared with standard usual care for CAP on length of hospital stay, risk of readmission, mortality risk, physical capacity, muscle and fat mass, muscle strength, metabolic function, systemic inflammation, health-related quality of life, and physical activity level.

METHODS: This study is a randomized controlled trial with three parallel experimental arms. Based on a sample size calculation, a total of 210 patients admitted with CAP at Nordsjællands Hospital, Hillerød, Denmark, will be recruited. Patients will be randomly allocated (1:1:1) to either (1) standard usual care, (2) standard usual care combined with in-bed cycling, or (3) standard usual care combined with exercises from a booklet. The primary outcome is differences in length of hospital stay between groups, with secondary outcomes being differences between groups in time to (1) 90-day readmission and (2) 180-day mortality. Further secondary outcomes are differences in changes from baseline between groups in (3) lean mass, (4) fat mass, (5) fat-free mass, (6) physical capacity, (7) health-related quality of life, (8) systemic inflammation, and (9) physical activity level after discharge. Data on length of hospital stay, readmission, and mortality will be collected from patient files, while total lean, fat, and fat-free mass will be quantitated by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and bioelectrical impedance analysis. Physical function will be assessed using grip strength, 30-s chair stand tests, and Barthel Index-100. Health-related quality of life will be assessed with the EQ-5D-5L questionnaire. Systemic inflammation will be assessed in blood samples, while accelerometers are used for measuring physical activity.

DISCUSSION: If a simple physical training program appears to diminish the impact of critical illness and hospitalization on clinical outcome, mobility, and health-related quality of life, it may lead to novel therapeutic approaches in the treatment of patients hospitalized with CAP.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04094636 . Registered on 1 April 2019.

Original languageEnglish
Article number571
JournalTrials
Volume22
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)571
ISSN1745-6215
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2021

    Research areas

  • Community-Acquired Infections/diagnosis, Exercise, Humans, Length of Stay, Pneumonia/diagnosis, Quality of Life, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Lean mass, Physical training, Length of hospital stay, Community-acquired pneumonia, Functional ability

ID: 67445718