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Keywords:

  • Joint replacement surgery;
  • Outcomes;
  • Quality of life

Abstract

Objective

To determine whether preoperative characteristics influence quality of life outcomes 1, 6, and 12 months after joint replacement surgery.

Methods

Patients (n = 222) with osteoarthritis undergoing primary joint replacement surgery at a university hospital between November 1990 and March 1993 were prospectively studied. Bodily pain and physical function were assessed preoperatively and at the 3 postoperative time points using the Medical Outcomes Study 36 Item Short Form Health Survey.

Results

Bodily pain and physical function improved after joint replacement. At 1 month after surgery, despite improvements in bodily pain, physical function deteriorated. Preoperative bodily pain and physical function, demographic characteristics, and social support were significant correlates of improvement in bodily pain and physical function.

Conclusions

Patients experienced dramatic improvements in bodily pain and physical function after joint replacement. However, decline in physical function at 1 month implies significant need for prolonged informal or formal patient assistance with basic physical function after surgery. Greater preoperative social support was associated with improved bodily pain and physical function outcomes.