BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Evidence suggests that more than 30% of patients post-total knee replacement (TKR) are living with participation restrictions, yet little is known about their perceptions of and factors contributing to these restrictions. The purpose of this study was to identify emergent or recurring themes behind participation restrictions after TKR.
METHODS: Nineteen participants between 50 and 85 years old reporting participation restrictions 1 to 5 years post-TKR completed semistructured qualitative interviews about their participation experience after TKR. Participants provided background information in written questionnaires. Data collected from in-person interviews were analyzed qualitatively using a grounded theory approach.
RESULTS: Participants discussed 3 major themes with regard to participation post-TKR: (1) limiting activities requiring long-distance walking due to continued knee impairments, (2) avoiding activities with negative or unknown outcome expectancies, and (3) using problem solving to identify strategies to participate in important activities.
CONCLUSIONS: An unknown or negative outcome expectancy, particularly with regard to activities requiring long-distance walking, may lead to participation restrictions in some patients post-TKR. As participants reported using self-efficacy and coping strategies to improve participation, further physical rehabilitation or interdisciplinary rehabilitation incorporating the identified strategies may be effective with some patients post-TKR.