Patients' experiences of subacute pain management following total hip or knee arthroplasty: A qualitative study
Almansour, H. A.,
Harris, I. A.,
Patanwala, A. E.,
Patients' experiences of subacute pain management following total hip or knee arthroplasty: A qualitative study.
Musculoskeletal Care, Early View (Online First).
Background: Total hip and knee arthroplasties are common surgeries performed worldwide, but the management of pain during the subacute period (defined as hospital discharge to 3 months postoperatively) is poorly understood. This study aimed to determine patients' experiences, facilitators and barriers to subacute pain management following total hip or knee arthroplasty.
Methods: Semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of patients following total hip or knee arthroplasty were conducted between June and August 2022. Participants were recruited from two tertiary metropolitan hospitals. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analysed using an inductive thematic approach to identify common themes.
Results: In total, 30 interviews were conducted with patients following hip or knee arthroplasty. Four main themes were identified: (i) Physical constitution before surgery (joint condition, analgesic use, age, and hearing); (ii) Attitude and knowledge (motivation, outlook on life, attitude towards taking medications, individual benchmarking, and knowledge); (iii) Socio-ethno-cultural factors (family and community connection, language, and religion), and (iv) Health-system support (health-professional delivered education, medications, services, staff, and costs).
Conclusions: Participants' experiences of subacute pain following hip or knee arthroplasty were shaped by multidimensional factors. Strategies to empower patients through increased education and support during postoperative opioid tapering as well as a shift to a biopsychosocial approach to pain management during the subacute period may improve patient and health-system outcomes.
arthroplasty, orthopaedic surgery, qualitative, subacute pain