Exploring the information needs of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee: a content analysis of Facebook group posts.

Publication date: Feb 09, 2024

End-stage osteoarthritis of the knee (OAK) is often treated by total knee arthroplasty (TKA). This intervention can significantly improve quality of life. However, many patients are dissatisfied with the outcome of surgery. One of the factors related to dissatisfaction is the of lack integration of patients’ preferences, habits and values that are not addressed by physicians. To develop realistic expectations, affected patients need evidence-based information. Our aim was to explore the information needs of patients with OAK to support the development of decision aids and consent forms to promote informed decision-making. Additionally, we investigated whether the information needs during the Covid-19 pandemic differ from those before the pandemic. The qualitative research design included a social media analysis of Facebook groups. Facebook groups were selected according to the following criteria: Thematic relevance, English or German language, at least one new post per week, from period before and after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. Thematically relevant group posts were analysed according to the content-structuring content analysis of Kuckartz using MaxQDA. Out of 448 identified Facebook groups, we screened seven for relevant posts and a total of 77 posts out of 6 groups were selected. The following eight categories were derived during the coding process: access to health care, disease information, TKA indication and contraindication, TKA outcome and quality of life, information needs regarding conservative therapy, strain, attitude towards TKA and attitude towards conservative therapy. The analysis showed that patients with OAK need information about the benefits and risks of TKA and conservative therapies. This study provides information on the information needs of patients with OAK in order to decide between TKA or conservative therapy. Patients need information about treatment options in due consideration of their immediate living situation to be reliably able to assess potential outcomes. Such Information about TKA should enable patients to assess the individual prognosis with comprehensible and relevant outcome measures. Also, they should be formulated with the living environment of the patients in mind and be linked to possible fears and negative previous experiences with treatments.

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Concepts Keywords
Facebook Content analysis
German Facebook analysis
Oak Health information
Physicians Information needs
Stage Informed decision
Social media
Total knee arthroplasty


Type Source Name
disease MESH osteoarthritis of the knee
disease IDO intervention
disease IDO quality
disease VO LACK
disease MESH aids
disease MESH Covid-19 pandemic
disease IDO process
disease MESH contraindication
pathway REACTOME Reproduction
disease MESH osteoarthritis
disease MESH complications
drug DRUGBANK Coenzyme M
drug DRUGBANK Trestolone
disease VO monthly
drug DRUGBANK Methionine
disease MESH joint diseases
disease VO document
disease MESH lifestyle
disease VO time
disease MESH obesity
disease VO P67
disease MESH overweight
disease MESH infections
disease MESH uncertainty
disease VO injection
drug DRUGBANK Tropicamide
disease MESH body weight change
drug DRUGBANK Diclofenac
disease MESH shock
drug DRUGBANK Spinosad
disease IDO infection
disease MESH weight loss
disease VO population
drug DRUGBANK Indoleacetic acid
disease VO protocol
drug DRUGBANK Diethylstilbestrol
drug DRUGBANK L-Aspartic Acid
disease MESH arthritis
disease MESH hypertension
disease VO report

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