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Arthritis patients�?? quality of life before and after knee arthroplasty

Sapountzi‐Krepia Despina

The concept of “quality of life” includes various dimensions of a person’s life and several instruments have been developed for its assessment and its correlation with the effectiveness of treatments and interventions in the patient’s life. Knee arthritis is a degenerative disease, which affects the patients’ quality of life due to its symptoms and its chronic nature. Several studies have shown that total knee arthroplasty contributes to the improvement of physical activity and of social life, it promotes psychological and emotional wellbeing, it improves mental clarity, liveliness, and eliminates or decreases pain. Aim: In order to investigate the patients’ perception on their quality of life before and after total knee arthroplasty, we conducted a qualitative study by interviewing patients by using an interview guide. Material and method: The sample consisted of 14 patients who underwent a surgical total knee replacement because of arthritis. The interviews took place in specific offices of the hospital and lasted from 45 to 60 minutes. The interviews were analysed with the method of content analysis. ResultsConclusions: It was found that pain, relative inability to respond to basic everyday selfcare activities, and difficulty in walking were the most important problems for whose who were not working. For those who were working, difficulty in walking was the most important problem since it inhibited almost every effort to work. The patients stated also that they were psychologically influenced by their condition, and some commented on the indirect social exclusion that they felt. Family was the main source of support for the patients in their every day life. The improvement of the patients’ functionality and of their overall quality of life after the surgical procedure was immediate and satisfactory.