Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format



Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Collaborative Specialization

Musculoskeletal Health Research


Bryant, Dianne


Robotic-assisted surgery has seen substantial growth over the years and continues to show promise. It has recently been implemented into orthopaedic surgery, however, prior to introduction in the operating room it is crucial to understand patient attitudes and comfort level with robot versus surgeon autonomy. An understanding of patient views will lead to the development of informative patient education materials to help facilitate successful implementation. The objective for this study was to develop an understanding of perspectives on the use of robots during knee replacement surgery. This study employs a qualitative descriptive methodology. Included participants were those who have undergone total knee replacement in the last five years at University Hospital. Participants partook in an online semi-structured interview with questions assessing their past experiences, fears and assumptions on robot assisted surgery. An inductive thematic analysis was completed to organize and present this information into themes. Major themes were the proven reliability of robots, safety and efficacy, and cleanliness. Some participants fear centered around complete autonomy of the robot, though, some participants expressed greater comfort if given information about the role of the robot prior to surgery. Patient education materials can be implemented into practice in hospitals to alleviate fears and prevent misperceptions about robot-assisted knee replacement.

Summary for Lay Audience

Robots have been assisting in surgical procedures for multiple years but with recent advancements in technology and systems, robotic surgery is extending into a greater number of specialties. Orthopaedic surgery, specifically knee replacement surgery, is not immune to this change. Robot assisted surgery can provide multiple benefits to surgeon output, such as improved precision and accuracy, which in turn may improve patient satisfaction and survivorship rates. Since the introduction of robots during knee replacement is novel, patient attitudes and comfort level towards robot vs surgeon autonomy need to be tested prior to the introduction of robots. From participants who have undergone knee replacement within the past five years, we sought to uncover their perspectives and thoughts about robots being involved in the surgery. Through online interviews, participants spoke about the reliability of robots, safety and efficacy, cleanliness, and wanting information about the procedure. Participants expressed fear around the degree of autonomy given to robots and we related it to the concept of self-driving cars. Participants expressed that there could be an increase in comfortability and reduction in anxiety through the use of providing information prior to surgery. Patient education materials are one way to provide patients with information prior to surgery.

Available for download on Sunday, December 01, 2024