The lived body and the perioperative period in replacement surgery: older people’s experiences

Authors

  • Birgitta Åkesdotter Gustafsson,

    1. Birgitta Åkesdotter Gustafsson MSc RNT CNOR Doctoral Student Department of Neurobiology, Caring Sciences and Society, Division Nursing and Department of Clinical Science and Education, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Sari Ponzer,

    1. Sari Ponzer PhD MD Assistant Professor Department of Clinical Science and Education, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Kristiina Heikkilä,

    1. Kristiina Heikkilä MA PhD Senior Lecturer Department of Neurobiology, Caring Sciences and Society, Division Nursing, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden and KC – Research and Development Centre in Elderly Care and School of Health Science and Social Work, Växjö University, Växjö Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Sirkka-Liisa Ekman

    1. Sirkka-Liisa Ekman PhD RN Professor Department of Neurobiology, Caring Sciences and Society, Division Nursing, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author

Birgitta Å. Gustafsson:
e-mail: birgitta.a.gustafsson@ki.se

Abstract

Title. The lived body and the perioperative period in replacement surgery: older people’s experiences

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study to explore older people’s experiences of their lived bodies during the perioperative period for a hip or knee replacement.

Background.  Replacement surgery of a major joint for older people suffering from osteoarthritis is an established treatment in developed countries. Scientific knowledge is available on replacement surgery from several perspectives, but not about older people’s experiences of the entire perioperative period of a replacement procedure.

Method.  A qualitative longitudinal study was conducted between 2002 and 2004. Audiotaped interviews were carried out with 12 older people, on five different occasions during the perioperative period. The data were analysed using latent qualitative content analysis.

Findings.  The perioperative period of a hip or knee replacement can be regarded as a process of transition which includes six critical phases. The transition was supported with the dream of becoming as able-bodied as previously in life, by having surgery. In addition, our findings revealed that the care recipients lacked knowledge about the surgical intervention as a whole.

Conclusion.  The meaning of having joint replacement surgery was to overcome the confinement of living with a painful and unreliable body. Furthermore, care recipients struggled to regain a body in charge and control of their lives, yet from a new starting point. The care recipients were not prepared for the transitional changes through the perioperative period. Further research is needed to develop an appropriate programme for patient care during the perioperative period, in order to facilitate the process of transition.

Ancillary