• Knee arthroplasty;
  • osteoarthritis;
  • patient education;
  • patient expectations;
  • patient satisfaction;
  • surgery

Aims and objectives

To describe the possible differences between knowledge expectations and received knowledge of patients undergoing elective knee arthroplasty in Iceland, Sweden and Finland and also to determine the relationship between such a difference and both background factors and patient satisfaction with care.


Knee arthroplasty is a fast-growing and a successful treatment for patients with osteoarthritis. Patient education can improve surgery outcomes, but it remains unknown what knowledge patients expect to receive and actually acquire during the perioperative period and what factors are related to that experience.


Descriptive, prospective survey.


In total, 290 patients answered questionnaires about their expectations (Knowledge Expectations of hospital patients - scale) before surgery and about received knowledge (Received Knowledge of hospital patients - scale) and satisfaction with hospital care (Patient Satisfaction Scale) at discharge. Sociodemographics, clinical information, accessibility to knowledge from healthcare providers (Access to Knowledge Scale), and preferences for information and behavioural control (Krantz Health Opinion Survey) were collected as background data.


Patients' knowledge expectations were higher (mean 3·6, SD 0·4) than their perception of received knowledge (mean 3·0, SD 0·7). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that access to knowledge, information preferences and work experience within health- or social care explained 33% (R²) of the variation in the difference between received and expected knowledge. Patients reported high satisfaction with their care except regarding how their family was involved.


Patients undergoing knee arthroplasty receive less knowledge than they expect, and individual factors and communication with healthcare providers during hospitalisation are related to their experience. The content of patient education and family involvement should be considered in future care.

Relevance to clinical practice

The results strengthen the knowledge base on the educational needs of knee arthroplasty patients and can be used to develop and test new interventions.