Beneficial and limiting factors in return to work after primary total knee replacement: Patients' perspective

T. M. J. Pahlplatz*, M. U. Schafroth, C. Krijger, T. H. Hylkema, C. N. van Dijk, M. H. W. Frings-Dresen, P. P. F. M. Kuijer

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    BACKGROUND: Return to work (RTW) is an important outcome in Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA). At present, 70-80% of TKA patients return to work within three to six months.

    OBJECTIVE: What are patients' perspectives regarding beneficial and limiting factors in RTW after TKA?

    METHODS: Focus groups were formed in accordance with the Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research (COREQ) checklist. Three major topics were explored: 1. What was beneficial for RTW after TKA; 2. What was limiting for RTW after TKA; and 3. What additional care would benefit RTW after TKA?

    RESULTS: Data saturation was reached after four focus groups, comprising 17 participants-nine men and eight women (median age 58, range 52-65). The focus group study identified four main themes that contributed to a successful RTW namely rehabilitation (medical) like post-operative physical therapy, patient characteristics (personal), like motivation to RTW, occupational characteristics (work-related) like build-up in work tasks and medical support (medical) like availability of a walker or crutches.

    CONCLUSION: According to participants, factors within the following four themes can contribute to a successful return to work: occupational, patient, rehabilitation and medical care. Incorporating these factors into the integrated care pathway for the "young" TKA patients may increase the chances of a successful RTW.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)895-902
    Number of pages8
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 16-Jul-2021


    • Total knee arthroplasty (TKA)
    • return to work (RTW)
    • employment
    • patient preferences
    • PEOPLE

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