Arthroplasty is commonly used for an increasing population of patients with osteoarthritis, and the recovery process starts directly after surgery. Today’s shorter hospital stay may be a challenge for the patients and their spouses. Patient education is linked to and promotes the recovery process and can improve the outcome after elective hip or knee replacement. Fulfilment of knowledge expectations is essential for enabling people to become empowered during the period of recovery.
The overall aim was to explore the association between empowering knowledge and patients’ quality of recovery after elective hip or knee replacement.
The design of the four papers was descriptive, prospective and comparative. Consecutively included patients and their spouses from Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Iceland and Sweden answered questionnaires before surgery and at discharge from hospital. Data was collected during the years 2009-2012. Relationships and associations between a number of factors and fulfilment of knowledge expectations, and patients’ quality of recovery were investigated. Comparisons between patients undergoing hip or knee replacement and between patients and their spouses were made.
Patients and their spouses had similar knowledge expectations, and these were not fulfilled during the hospital stay. Spouses had less fulfilled knowledge expectations compared with the patients. Swedish patients and spouses had less fulfilled knowledge expectations compared with the Icelandic and Finnish ones. Patients who experienced the hospital stay as meeting their general expectations had more fulfilled knowledge expectations compared with those who did not.
Access to knowledge was the main predictor of the variance in fulfilment of knowledge expectations. Negative emotions, such as depressive state and impatience, were associated with less fulfilled knowledge expectations. For patients undergoing hip replacement, a higher level of professional education was associated with less fulfilled knowledge expectations. For patients undergoing knee replacement, a history of employment in social services or healthcare was associated with less fulfilled knowledge expectations.
Patients’ experience of greater satisfaction with care was associated with better quality of recovery for both kinds of arthroplasty. Patients with fulfilled knowledge expectations experienced better quality of recovery. The spouserelated factors, namely uncertainty and depressive state, were associated with lower quality of recovery. Factors associated with greater quality of recovery among the patients were spouses with a history of employment in social services or health care, and nurses explaining matters concerning the care and treatment for the spouses.
Patients and their spouses had high knowledge expectations that were not fulfilled during the hospital stay. Patients’ emotional state and their access to knowledge were important for their fulfilment of knowledge expectations. Patients’ and spouses’ emotional state also played an important role in determining the patients’ quality of recovery, and greater satisfaction with care among the patients was associated with better quality of recovery.
These results emphasise the need to detect patients and their spouses in need of support in their preparation and recovery process. It is therefore important to assess patients’ and spouses’ personal knowledge expectations, and adapt to their emotional state while fulfilling them.
The content of patient education should be personalised in future care, and informal caregivers should be seriously taken into account during the period of early recovery. The results of this thesis can be used in the development and testing of person-centred educational interventions for patients undergoing elective hip or knee replacements.
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2016. , 70 p.