Empowering Patient Education in Orthopaedic Care

The purpose of this research area is to assess the profitability of patient education in orthopaedic care in relation with clinical, cognitive, functional and emotional outcomes. Interventions of patient education and patient education practices have been compared internationally. Several instruments, including knowledge test, have been developed, tested and culturally validated.


Empowering surgical orthopaedic patients through education

University of Turku, Department of Nursing Science, Finland

Principal investigator (PI): Adjunct Professor Kirsi Valkeapää (ex Johansson), PhD, RN, Publications

Contacts: Email: kirsi.valkeapaa@gmail.com

The focus of the “Empowering Surgical Orthopaedic Patients through Education” – project is on the education of osteoarthritis patients in the surgical context and it includes collaboration between researchers in health care and nursing science in seven European countries (Finland, Cyprus, Greece, Iceland, Lithuania, Spain and Sweden). This project aims to a) strengthen the theoretical basis of empowering patient education, b) identify and explain the differences between patient education in various countries, b) construct practice-oriented patient education models including those factors promoting best practices for orthopaedic patients in the surgical context and c) test and validate instruments used in evaluating patient education.

In this project, the theoretical basis lies in empowering patient education that emphasizes the power of patients and their self-management as a goal of patient education. In empowering patient education, it is essential to be aware of patients’ knowledge expectations and to measure the knowledge received. The basic assumption is that the closer patients’ expectations and received knowledge are, the more empowered they will be, and thus possibilities for self-management are created.

In the orthopaedic surgical context, knowledge of patients’ expectations and received care has been studied on the national level. “Empowering Surgical Orthopaedic Patients through Education” – project is a step toward an international perspective on orthopaedic patient education. This project has already been started by a) making the research plan and establishing the international research team, b) preparing, testing and validating the instruments and c) planning the sample and data collection. Empirical data has been collected in seven participating countries. The data (N=1634) has been collected in all countries among surgical orthopaedic patients (n=172-279/country) and their significant others (n=1097) in connection with knee or hip replacement. Data collection points have been at admission, at discharge and 6-7 months after surgery. Nurses (n=317), caring for these patients, have also evaluated the quality of the education received by these patients. At this point the data is under reporting.

The ultimate goal of these international analyses and comparisons is to construct the best educational practices internationally for supporting patient’s self-management in the orthopaedic surgical context.

This project has scientific, societal, clinical and educational outcomes.

Research teams

Patient empowerment and recovery in orthopedic care

Principal investigator:
Arja Pekonen, MNSc, RN (doctoral thesis)

Helena Leino-Kilpi, Professor, PhD, RN, University of Turku, Department of Nursing Science
Petri Virolainen, hospital director, Turku University Hospital.

The aims of this study
The purpose of this follow-up study is to evaluate patients’ recovery after short-stay orthopedic surgery and recognize factors which are connected to recovery, especially how patients’ knowledge and their own action are associated on recovery. Results of this study can be used to develop short-stay orthopedic patients’ care and improve the quality of care.

Empowering Patient education in ambulatory orthopeadic nursing internet-based intervention

Empowering patient education in surgical care of patients with spinal stenosis