Why do some people with osteoarthritis and obesity awaiting hip or knee arthroplasty achieve successful weight management? A qualitative study
Journal of Clinical Nursing
Aim: To explore perceived barriers and enablers to weight management among people with obesity awaiting total knee or hip arthroplasty. Design: A nested qualitative study within a multi-centre, quasi-experimental pilot study comparing usual care weight management to a dietitian-led weight-loss diet. Methods: Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted with adults with end-stage osteoarthritis and a body mass index ≥30 kg/m2 waitlisted for primary total knee or hip arthroplasty. Participants with diverse sociodemographic characteristics and varied success with weight management in the pilot study were purposively sampled. Interviews were analysed using inductive thematic analysis, underpinned by constructivist–interpretivist epistemology. The Patient Activation Measure and Health Literacy Questionnaire were used for context when interpreting the findings. Results: Twenty-five participant interviews were conducted with a sociodemographically varied sample (aged 44–80 years, 9 born in Australia, 6 in paid employment and 11 lost ≥5% of their baseline weight). Four identified themes underpinned successful weight management: beliefs, adaptability, navigating healthcare and sociocultural context. Beliefs about whether weight was perceived as a problem, the expectation of weight loss and treatment-related beliefs influenced participants' perspectives towards weight loss. Adaptability, the ability to overcome barriers to weight loss, comprised three subthemes; readiness to act, degree of independence and problem-solving skills. Approaches towards navigating healthcare influenced uptake and adherence to weight management recommendations. Importantly, these themes were dependent on social and environmental circumstances, which influenced the type of barriers experienced and resources available to the individual. Conclusion: Differences in a person's beliefs, their ability to adapt and navigate healthcare and sociocultural context appear to explain successful weight management among people with end-stage arthritis. Implications for the profession and/or patient care: Clinicians should allow for individualisation cognisant of the identified themes when providing advice and treatment to promote adherence to weight management interventions. Impact: This study explored perceived barriers and enablers to weight management among people with obesity awaiting total knee or hip arthroplasty. Four identified themes underpinned successful weight management: beliefs, adaptability, navigating healthcare and sociocultural context. Beliefs about whether weight was perceived as a problem, the expectation of weight loss and treatment-related beliefs influenced participants' perspectives towards weight loss. Understanding and assessing the contribution of each factor may guide weight management from clinicians treating patients with obesity and osteoarthritis. Reporting Method: The data are reported using the COREQ guidelines. Patient or Public Contribution: Patients contributed to the data collected.
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