Patient Expectations Regarding Total Knee Arthroplasty: Differences Among the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia

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Abstract

Background: Total knee arthroplasty is an effective treatment for severe osteoarthritis of the knee. Our aim was to determine whether patients from the United Kingdom, United States, and Australia have different preoperative expectations regarding total knee arthroplasty and whether these expectations have an impact on outcomes and patient satisfaction.

Methods: Patients from the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia were recruited into a prospective observational study of primary total knee arthroplasty for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Preoperative expectations, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) and Short Form-36 (SF-36) scores, and demographic, socioeconomic, and follow-up data, including satisfaction with outcome, were obtained from self-administered patient questionnaires.

Results: A total of 598 patients with a mean age of sixty-nine years at the time of the index arthroplasty were recruited; 58% were women. The majority of patients expected to have no pain at twelve months after the surgery, and with the numbers available there was no significant difference among the countries with regard to pain expectations. Australian patients were more likely than patients in the United Kingdom or the United States to expect better function at twelve months after the surgery. With the numbers available, satisfaction scores at twelve months did not differ significantly among the countries and were not influenced by preoperative expectations. Australian patients were more likely than patients in the United Kingdom or the United States to be unwilling to undergo total knee arthroplasty again at twelve months under similar circumstances.

Conclusions: Patients from different countries have different expectations regarding total knee arthroplasty, which are not fully explained by differences in sociodemographic factors, clinical characteristics, and pain and functional status. Australian patients had the highest expectations but, despite reporting similar outcomes and satisfaction following total knee arthroplasty, they were more likely not to want to have the surgery again under similar circumstances.

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