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Open Access Research article

What do we tell patients about elective total hip replacement in the UK? An analysis of patient literature

Avril Drummond1*, Claire Edwards2, Carol Coole2 and Catherine Brewin3

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, A Floor, South link corridor, Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC), Nottingham, NG7 2UH, UK

2 Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK

3 Senior Occupational Therapist in Orthopaedics, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Hucknall Road, Nottingham, UK

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2013, 14:152  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-152

Published: 1 May 2013

Abstract

Background

Although hip information literature is given to people following total hip replacement (THR) almost routinely, little evaluation has been conducted on it to date. Our aim was therefore to analyse and evaluate the literature provided to patients by occupational therapists concerning elective hip surgery in the UK.

Methods

This was a pragmatic, descriptive analysis of information leaflets routinely given to patients undergoing primary total hip replacement (THR). The literature was collected as part of a national survey of occupational therapy practice. In the absence of a suitable evaluation tool, the patient leaflets were compared using a checklist devised by the researchers. The three areas of interest were: accessibility including presentation of information, breadth of information covered and specific activities of daily living described.

Results

111 information leaflets and booklets were examined. These ranged from hospital publications which were professionally printed to those produced by individual departments. There was a variation in the readability of the leaflets ranging from 13% to 83%; the mean was 45% (SD 15). There was also variation in the content ranging from those covering surgery and possible complications, to those including diet and hip exercises. The most commonly covered activity of daily living was advice on sitting (99; 89%); the least commonly covered was work (26; 23%). Only 3 (2.7%) booklets had involved patients in their production and only 22 (20%) signposted obtaining information in another language or in Braille.

Conclusions

There was a range of literature in terms of presentation and content given to people who had a total hip replacement (THR). Although some booklets and leaflets scored highly, some did not meet basic standards such as providing contact details for help, using good quality diagrams, suggesting further reading or involving patients in their design. These results highlight important and fundamental deficiencies in the literature routinely provided.

Keywords:
Total hip replacement; Hip precautions; Hip restrictions; Patient information; Occupational therapy