Health care needs of patients during early recovery after total knee-replacement surgery.

Department of Nursing, Taoyuan Armed Forces General Hospital, Taiwan.
Journal of Clinical Nursing (Impact Factor: 1.23). 03/2010; 19(5-6):673-81. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2009.03107.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to understand the health care needs and related factors for patients with knee osteoarthritis during the early recovery period after total knee-replacement surgery.
Knee-replacement surgery effectively relieves pain and improves mobility for patients with knee osteoarthritis. With shorter hospital stays, postoperative knee-replacement patients need guidance from medical personnel about self-care, but little is known about these patients' health care needs.
This descriptive, correlational study used a longitudinal design.
A convenience sample of 85 patients undergoing total knee-replacement surgery in northern Taiwan was interviewed before and 1-2 weeks after hospital discharge. Data were collected on participants' demographic characteristics, disease characteristics, symptom distress and health care needs.
Participants' health care needs diminished significantly after hospital discharge. Before hospital discharge, the most important need was medical personnel to help relieve postoperative pain, and health care needs were predicted by symptom distress and age. After hospital discharge, the most important need was medical personnel to help understand the conditions requiring a return visit to hospital, and health care needs were predicted by symptom distress, health care needs before discharge, age and gender.
The results of this study provide a comprehensive understanding of health care needs before and after discharge, as well as predictive factors for patients undergoing total knee-replacement surgery.
Given today's shorter hospital stays, clinicians need to prioritise health care needs indicated by predictive variables. This strategy would help optimise assessment and care management by focusing on patients' greater health care needs and by tailoring care information and skills to patients' individual needs.

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