Spousal Support Following Knee Surgery: Roles of Self-Efficacy and Perceived Emotional Responsiveness

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Objective:The objective was to investigate self-efficacy to manage recovery from surgery and perceptions of the spouse's emotional responsiveness of adults recovering from knee surgery as mediators of the association between the quality of support from the spouse following surgery and recovery outcomes.Research Method:In-person interviews of married older adults (N = 134) with osteoarthritis of the knee who underwent total knee replacement surgery were conducted at 1 month before surgery, 1 month after surgery, and at 3 months after surgery.Main Outcome Measures:Outcomes were knee limitations and depressive symptoms.Results:Self-efficacy mediated the associations between emotional support and problematic support and improvement in knee limitations as well as between emotional support and improvement in depressive symptoms. Perceptions of the spouse's emotional responsiveness did not mediate associations between support and recovery outcomes.Conclusions:Findings suggest that emotional support from the spouse can improve recovery outcomes in part by strengthening efficacy beliefs to manage recovery, and problematic support can hinder optimal recovery in part by weakening efficacy beliefs.

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