“I have to be patient” – A longitudinal case study of an older man’s rehabilitation experience after hip replacement surgery

Kerstin Björkman Randström, Kenneth Asplund, Marianne Svedlund


Background: Aging can bring about an increased risk of disability. Following illness or injures, rehabilitation is essential if the individual affected is to attain and maintain independence. Performing rehabilitation with a person-centered approach is vital for positive outcomes. Health providers are increasingly interested in developing rehabilitation services in outpatient settings for older people in their own homes.

Aim: The aim of this study was to describe an older man’s rehabilitation experience after a hip replacement surgery.

Design: A longitudinal qualitative descriptive single case study.

Methods: Interviews were conducted on four occasions with the participant in his own home. The interviews were conducted one month, seven months, one year, and five years after the patient was discharged from the hospital. The data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.

Results: Three categories emerged: (i) having feelings of despair, (ii) being in charge, and (iii) having rehabilitative support. The results demonstrate the participant’s decreased ability to walk after a complicated hip surgery, and his physical and psychological struggle for well-being in everyday life. A strong motivation to return to as normal a life as possible facilitated the rehabilitation. Also, a supportive family and accessible health care professionals were essential to the positive outcome of the home rehabilitation.

Conclusion: Rehabilitation can extend over a long period to maintain and improve mobility. Also, living with a disability causes feelings of despair. The home can be a source of energy but also a place of challenges during rehabilitation. To support older people in achieving their rehabilitation goals and engaging in meaningful activities, professionals should focus on personal factors, psychosocial support and on influential factors in the home environment and in society in general.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v3n8p160

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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