Physical Therapy Publications

A Cross-sectional Look at Patient Concerns in the First Six Weeks Following Primary Total Knee Arthroplasty

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Background: To date, no researchers have investigated patient concerns in the first six weeks following primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA). An understanding of patient concerns at a time when physical therapists are involved in the treatment of these patients will aid clinicians in providing patient-centered care. Linking of items to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) allows for comparison and sharing of data amongst researchers, as the ICF is the accepted framework for evaluating disability in rehabilitation. The objective of this study was to identify patient concerns in the first six weeks following primary TKA and link these concerns to components of the ICF and map them to commonly used outcome measures.

Methods: Individual interviews were conducted to identify patient concerns during their recovery following primary TKA. Concerns identified by patients were analysed for content and linked to the components of the ICF using the operational definitions of the ICF components. These concerns were mapped to the WOMAC, KOOS and Oxford Knee Scale.

Results: Thirty patients (18 female) with an average age (SD) of 68.4 (11.1) years completed the study. Patients identified 32 concerns. Twenty-two percent (n = 7) of the concerns linked to Body Function and Structure, 47% (n = 15) to Activity, 13% (n = 4) to Participation, and 13% (n = 4) to the Environmental Factors component of the ICF. Six percent (n = 2) of the concerns did not link to the ICF. Of the 32 concerns identified by patients 14 mapped to the KOOS, 11 to the WOMAC and 4 to the Oxford Knee Scale.

Conclusion: Patient concerns linked to four different components of the ICF indicating that patients are involved in or are thinking of multiple aspects of life even in this early phase of recovery. The KOOS was found to be the most appropriate for use based on the patients' perspective. However, less than half of the concerns identified by patients were covered by the KOOS, WOMAC or Oxford Knee Scale indicating that other existing measures that evaluate the concepts identified as important to patients should be considered when evaluating outcomes during this acute phase of recovery following primary TKA.


Published in: Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2007, 5:48 (doi:10.1186/1477-7525-5-48). The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

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