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"Take me seriously and do something!" - a qualitative study exploring patients' perceptions and expectations of an upcoming orthopaedic consultation

Journal article
Authors Karin Samsson
Susanne Bernhardsson
Maria E H Larsson
Published in Bmc Musculoskeletal Disorders
Volume 18
ISSN 1471-2474
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Health and Rehabilitation
Language en
Links doi.org/10.1186/s12891-017-1719-6
Keywords Perceptions, Expectations, Musculoskeletal disorders, Orthopaedic, Content analysis, randomized controlled-trial, total joint replacement, total knee, arthroplasty, low-back-pain, health-care, decision-making, preoperative, expectations, musculoskeletal disorders, centered care, physiotherapy, Orthopedics, Rheumatology
Subject categories Rheumatology and Autoimmunity, Orthopedics, Physiotherapy

Abstract

Background: Patients' perceptions of care is an important factor in evaluation of health care, in quality assessment, and in improvement efforts. Expectations of assessments or procedures such as surgery have been found to be related to perceptions of outcome as well as satisfaction, and are therefore of interest to both clinicians and researchers. Increased understanding of these patient views is important so that orthopaedic assessments, regardless of who performs them, can be further developed and patient-centred to better meet patients' needs. The purpose of this study was therefore to explore patients' perceptions and expectations of an upcoming orthopaedic consultation. Methods: This was an explorative qualitative study with an inductive approach. Thirteen patients who were referred for orthopaedic consultation were included using a purposeful sampling strategy. Patients participated in individual, semi-structured interviews that were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed with qualitative content analysis. Results: The participants' expressed perceptions and expectations of the upcoming orthopaedic surgeon consultation were classified into 5 categories: Hoping for action, Meeting an expert, A respectful meeting, Participating in the consultation, and A belief that hard facts make evidence. Across the categories, an overarching theme was formulated: Take me seriously and do something! The participants emphasised a desire to be taken seriously and for something to happen, both during the consultation itself and as a result of the orthopaedic consultation. They described a trust in the expertise of the orthopaedic surgeon and stressed the importance of the surgeon's attitude, but still expected to participate in the consultation as well as in the decision-making process. Conclusions: The study findings illuminate aspects that are important for patients in an orthopaedic consultation. The descriptions of patients' perceptions and expectations can serve to improve patient-clinician relationships as well as to inform the development of new models of care, and a greater understanding of these aspects may improve the patient experience.

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