Prehabilitation in elective patients undergoing cardiac surgery: a randomised control trial (THE PrEPS TRIAL) - a study protocol

Enoch Akowuah, Ayesha Mathias, Michelle Bardgett, Samantha Harrison, Adetayo S Kasim, Kirsti Loughran, Emmanuel Ogundimu, Jason Trevis, Janelle Wagnild, Pasan Witharana, Helen C Hancock, Rebecca H Maier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Prehabilitation prior to surgery has been shown to reduce postoperative complications, reduce length of hospital stay and improve quality of life after cancer and limb reconstruction surgery. However, there are minimal data on the impact of prehabilitation in patients undergoing cardiac surgery, despite the fact these patients are generally older and have more comorbidities and frailty. This trial will assess the feasibility and impact of a prehabilitation intervention consisting of exercise and inspiratory muscle training on preoperative functional exercise capacity in adult patients awaiting elective cardiac surgery, and determine any impact on clinical outcomes after surgery.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: PrEPS is a randomised controlled single-centre trial recruiting 180 participants undergoing elective cardiac surgery. Participants will be randomised in a 1:1 ratio to standard presurgical care or standard care plus a prehabilitation intervention. The primary outcome will be change in functional exercise capacity measured as change in the 6 min walk test distance from baseline. Secondary outcomes will evaluate the impact of prehabilitation on preoperative and postoperative outcomes including; respiratory function, health-related quality of life, anxiety and depression, frailty, and postoperative complications and resource use. This trial will evaluate if a prehabilitation intervention can improve preoperative physical function, inspiratory muscle function, frailty and quality of life prior to surgery in elective patients awaiting cardiac surgery, and impact postoperative outcomes.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: A favourable opinion was given by the Sheffield Research Ethics Committee in 2019. Trial findings will be disseminated to patients, clinicians, commissioning groups and through peer-reviewed publication.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere065992
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.


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