Patient Experience of Joint Replacement Education: a Joint Venture
Purpose: To explore patients’ educational experiences and the usefulness and benefits of this health education in the rehabilitation period, when undertaking a total joint replacement. Design & Method: An exploratory, qualitative descriptive study, describing patients’ experiences of health education. Five participants, convenience sampled, were interviewed eight to twelve weeks post surgery following unilateral total joint replacement in a tertiary hospital. Findings: Participants valued the education they received pre operatively, which included written material, video and individual interaction with varied health professionals. Although this was provided in a timely manner, evidence showed limited post operative reinforcement and follow up of given education and preparation for discharge. Three ‘partnership’ themes were identified from data, Communicative, Subservient and Knowledge. ‘Communicative Partnership’ conceptualised the participants’ experiences of the nurse-patient relationship, whilst ‘Subservient Partnership’ captured the participants’ experiences of ‘being’ patients. ‘Knowledge Partnership’ combined the participants’ ideas about knowledge and their retention of this knowledge to assist with their rehabilitation post surgery. Conclusion: The needs and experiences of patients after total joint replacement reflect on transitional change – changes in roles, behaviour, abilities and relationships. Educational contents need to reflect a realistic recovery process to assist with this transitional period, delivered by health care professionals in a manner best suited for patients. This study provides a descriptive study of patients’ perspectives of their journey undergoing a total joint replacement, making the process and their experiences more visible for health professionals. Careful pre and post operative education and planning can facilitate patients' optimism and motivation in their rehabilitation.