Patients’ experiences during the first 12 weeks after discharge in fast-track hip and knee arthroplasty – a qualitative study

Kirsten Specht*, Hanne Agerskov, Per Kjaersgaard-Andersen, Rebecca Jester, Birthe D. Pedersen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Background: Due to the shortened length of stay in fast-track total hip and knee arthroplasty, patients must at a very early stage following surgery take responsibility for their postoperative care and treatment. It is important to establish if this treatment modality of fast-track is not only cost-effective, but meets patients’ expectations and needs. Aim: To explore the lived experience of patients in fast-track total hip and knee arthroplasty during the first 12 weeks after discharge. Methods: A phenomenological-hermeneutic approach was used inspired by Ricoeur's theory of narrative and interpretation. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 8 patients 2 and 12 weeks after discharge. Findings: Through the structural analysis 3 themes emerged: 1) Dealing with transition between hospital and home, 2) Pain and self-management of medication, 3) Challenges in rehabilitation. Conclusion: Patients appreciated only 1 or 2 days in hospital. However, they were not sufficiently involved in the discharge planning. There was a feeling of uncertainty and being left on their own after discharge, which could affect their pain management and recovery at home. There is a need to develop in partnership with each individual patient a post discharge plan of care and rehabilitation to meet their individual needs, preferences and mode of motivation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Orthopaedic and Trauma Nursing
Pages (from-to)13-19
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip/psychology
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee/psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Management/methods
  • Pain, Postoperative/drug therapy
  • Patient Discharge
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Postoperative Care/methods
  • Qualitative Research
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors


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