The Effect of Social Support on Functional Recovery and Well-Being in Older Adults Following Joint Arthroplasty


  • Ruth Ann Kiefer DrNP RN CRRN CNE

    Member of the Faculty, Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Ruth Ann Kiefer, DrNP RN CRRN CNE, is a member of the faculty at the Dixon School of Nursing at Abington Memorial Hospital in Abington, PA, and continues to practice as a CRRN in the hospital's rehabilitation unit.


Projections by the U.S. Census Bureau indicate a continual rise in the population of older adults. Along with increased dependency among older adults, chronic illness and aging may have attendant social and personal concerns in the areas of health care, community health services, and quality of life. Direct and indirect costs of osteoarthritis are $120 billion per year in medical treatment and lost wages. Every year more than 300,000 knee replacements and 120,000 hip replacements are performed in the United States (Sapountzi-Krepia et al., 2007). A large percentage of joint replacement patients have now assumed responsibility for their recovery process. This exploratory study assessed and measured social support and evaluated its impact on functional recovery and well-being in older adults after joint arthroplasty. Although social support, associated with the covariates of “living arrangements” and “age,” demonstrated a positive relationship with perceived well-being, no relationship was demonstrated with high or low levels of social support and functional recovery.