Individuals' expectations and challenges following total hip replacement: A qualitative study

Gretl A. McHugh, Karen A. Luker

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Purpose: Hip replacements are one of the most common operations for individuals with hip osteoarthritis. There have been numerous quantitative studies investigating the recovery from joint replacement surgery and these show how effective and satisfied patients are. However, little qualitative work has been conducted to explore patients' actual experiences. Therefore, this study aimed to detail the experiences of individuals undergoing a total hip replacement (THR) to determine whether their expectations were met. Method: The qualitative study was nested within a longitudinal study (n215) that was investigating biomedical and psychosocial outcomes from THR. We interviewed a purposive sample of individuals (n25) 6 months after THR to explore their experiences of having a THR. Findings: Participants were aged 4882 years. They felt disabled following the THR and some had unrealistic expectations of recovery. Most of them received minimal information and health professional support. Participants had to overcome a number of challenges such as diminished confidence, frustration over slow progress and reduced physical functioning. Conclusion: Individuals undergoing THR need to have the opportunity to discuss their expectations of THR, so there is no "false optimism". Support requirements, following THR, need to be reviewed as they were often underestimated by patients and health professionals. Implications for Rehabilitation Total hip replacements (THR) due to osteoarthritis are one of the most common operations. Patients' expectations of a THR are high. Recovery following a THR is challenging for patients and health professionals need to be aware of their support requirements. © 2012 Informa UK, Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1351-1357
    Number of pages6
    JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
    Issue number16
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Expectations
    • Hip replacement
    • Recovery


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