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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Telephone Follow-Up by Nurse After Total Knee Arthroplasty: Results of a Randomized Clinical Trial

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BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Because of shorter hospitalizations, patients now have to take responsibility for their recovery period at a very early stage. We evaluated the effects of structured, nurse-managed telephone follow-up (TFU) after discharge from the hospital following total knee arthroplasty (TKA).

METHOD/DESIGN: The design was a single-center, unblinded, parallel-group randomized clinical trial. The primary outcome was self-reported physical function according to the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis (WOMAC) Index. Secondary outcomes were stiffness and pain according to the WOMAC Index; health-related quality of life, measured with the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form (SF-36); general self-efficacy, measured with the General Self-Efficacy Scale; and number of acute visits to the orthopaedic outpatient clinic. In total, 117 patients were randomized to 2 groups: an intervention group receiving TFU 4 and 14 days after discharge in addition to conventional treatment, and a control group receiving conventional treatment. The TFUs were structured by key subjects for health status, as defined by the VIPS model (the Swedish acronym for the concepts of Well-being, Integrity, Prevention, and Safety). The effect was measured 1 and 3 months postsurgery.

RESULTS: No significant effects on physical function in the disease-specific WOMAC Index were identified. However, significant differences in scores were identified in favor of the intervention group on general self-efficacy (p = .014) and physical function (p = .031), measured with the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 1 month after TKA, but this effect was not seen at 3 months. A positive improvement in several dimensions of health status and health-related quality of life was identified in favor of the intervention group, but patients who had TFU had more unscheduled visits to the outpatient clinic.

CONCLUSIONS: Telephone follow-up did not improve physical function compared with conventional treatment, as measured with the WOMAC Index. A short-term effect was identified, improving general self-efficacy and physical function as dimensions of health-related quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOrthopedic nursing
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)411-420
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2016

    Research areas

  • Activities of Daily Living, Aged, Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee/nursing, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Interviews as Topic/methods, Knee Joint, Male, Pain, Self Efficacy, Surveys and Questionnaires

ID: 57355533