Eligible studies were randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of postoperative exercise rehabilitation interventions to improve functional outcomes after total hip arthroplasty for osteoarthritis. End points of interest in the review included functional outcomes and dislocation rates.
Several studies in the review had mixed populations: they included not only participants who had had hip arthroplasty but also some who had had knee arthroplasty. Interventions were defined as early or late (more or less than a month post surgery). The most commonly used type of rehabilitation was progressive resistance training. There was a wide variety of specific interventions (such as hydrotherapy, treadmill, electrical stimulation and ergometer cycling), control conditions (such as standard in-patient physiotherapy, passive physiotherapy and no exercise), and outcomes (such as walking tests, functional questionnaires and pain scores). The interval between surgery and the intervention ranged from the immediate postoperative period to at least 1.5 years afterwards. The duration and intensity of the intervention varied, and the duration of follow-up ranged from six days to two years.
The authors did not state how many reviewers performed study selection.