Functional improvements desired by patients before and in the first year after total hip arthroplasty. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 14, 243 (2013).

Functional improvements desired by patients before and in the first year after total hip arthroplasty

Heiberg, K.E., Ekeland, A. & Mengshoel, A.M.


In the field of rehabilitation, patients are supposed to be experts on their own lives, but the patient’s own desires in this respect are often not reported. Our objectives were to describe the patients’ desires regarding functional improvements before and after total hip arthroplasty (THA).


Sixty-four patients, 34 women and 30 men, with a mean age of 65 years, were asked to describe in free text which physical functions they desired to improve. They were asked before surgery and at three and 12 months after surgery. Each response signified one desired improvement. The responses were coded according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd category levels. The frequency of the codes was calculated as a percentage of the total number of responses of all assessments times and in percentage of each time of assessment.


A total of 333 responses were classified under Part 1 of the ICF, Functioning and Disability, and 88% of the responses fell into the Activities and Participation component. The numbers of responses classified into the Activities and Participation component were decreasing over time (p < 0.001). The categories of Walking (d450), Moving around (d455), and Recreation and leisure (d920) included more than half of the responses at all the assessment times. At three months after surgery, there was a trend that fewer responses were classified into the Recreation and leisure category, while more responses were classified into the category of Dressing (d540).


The number of functional improvements desired by the patients decreased during the first postoperative year, while the content of the desires before and one year after THA were rather consistent over time and mainly concerned with the ability to walk and participate in recreation and leisure activities. At three months, however, there was a tendency that the patients were more concerned about the immediate problems with putting on socks and shoes.

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