Trajectories of need: understanding patients' use of support during the journey through knee replacement
Disability and Rehabilitation
Disability and Rehabilitation 1 Trajectories of need: Understanding patients' use of support during the journey through knee replacement Abstract Purpose: To explore how the process of undergoing and recovering from knee replacement surgery alters patients' experiences and use of their support networks. Methods: Ten patients having knee replacement surgery for osteoarthritis were invited to take part in in-depth interviews prior to surgery and two-four weeks, six and 12 months postoperatively.
... s postoperatively. Transcripts were analysed using iInterpretative pPhenomenological Aanalysis. Results: Three superordinate themes were identified: (1) Relationships with health professionals over the knee replacement journey; (2) Implications for informal relationships and support networks and (3) Providing support to others. Conclusions: Transformation from a person with osteoarthritis to someone recovering from a surgical intervention can lead to alterations in the source, type and level of support people receive from others, and can also change the assistance that they themselves are able to offer. Findings highlight the value of the concept of interdependence to our understanding of participants' experiences. Activity undertaken by informal support networks assists participants to cope with the consequences of osteoarthritis and surgery, and fills in the gap when more formal support is lacking. However, it is essential that provision of care is individually tailored and that formal support is adequate at times when informal support networks are unavailable.