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OBJECTIVE: Patient expectations have been identified as a factor that may account for individual differences in recovery after total hip replacement (THR) surgery. However, patient expectations have not been studied within a valid theoretical framework. This study employed the World Health Organization's model of health, the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), to classify the content of preoperative patient expectations of THR. METHODS: A European cohort of 1,108 patients preoperatively reported 2 types of expectations. Patients reported what they anticipated surgery would enable them to do that they needed to be able to do ("need" expectation), and what they would like to be able to do ("desire" expectation) in a year's time. Free-text responses were independently classified by 2 researchers to 1 or more of the ICF constructs of impairment, activity limitation, and participation restriction. RESULTS: Interrater reliability was high (κ = ≥0.87). All patient expectations were classified to the ICF constructs. Less than 5% of patient expectations were identified as impairment, 58% of "need" expectations were identified as activity limitations, and 45% of "desire" expectations were identified as activity limitations and participation restrictions combined. CONCLUSION: The ICF is a suitable theoretical framework to study patient expectations of THR. THR targets impairment; however, few patient expectations were classified to the ICF definition of impairment. The majority of patient expectations were classified as activity limitation or a combination of activity limitation and participation restriction. Therefore, patient expectations of surgery focus on recovering valued activities rather than reversal of bodily impairments.

Original publication




Journal article


Arthritis care res (hoboken)

Publication Date





1521 - 1527


Aged, Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip, Biomechanical Phenomena, Cross-Sectional Studies, Disability Evaluation, Europe, Female, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Health Status, Hip Joint, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Osteoarthritis, Hip, Patients, Perception, Preoperative Period, Prospective Studies, Range of Motion, Articular, Recovery of Function, Self Report, Time Factors, Treatment Outcome