Regular telephone check-ins may help patients with knee replacements

April 17, 2012

Topic: Total joint replacements

Telephone consultations with health professionals may help the rehab process for knee replacement patients.

A study funded by the National Institutes of Health reveals that a program that includes regular telephone check-ins with health professionals may provide valuable support to individuals who had total joint replacements of the knee. Specifically, such services may help patients with strong emotional health, nonobese individuals with poor emotional health and people with no other health conditions, as reported by Healio.

The researchers conducted an experiment on 178 individuals who were over the age of 21 and underwent knee replacement surgery. While 88 controls were assigned to the standard rehabilitation, the other 90 subjects had the usual care plus regular telephone calls that took place before and after surgery.

"The focus was self-efficacy, meaning the knowledge and skills of the patients was improved in their daily need for exercise and activity, as well as setting goals for the day or the week, monitoring, keeping logs, addressing barriers to physical activity and taking ownership of rehabilitation," said researcher Patricia Franklin.

After six months, results showed that those who had telephone consultations had greater gains in physical function, compared to controls who only had standard care, as reported at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) 2012 Annual Meeting.

These findings may have implications for the 600,000 Americans who undergo knee replacement surgery every year, as estimated by the AAOS.

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