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|Other Titles:||Perceptions and Coping Strategies of Elderly Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis|
Stephanie Yu-Ching Chen
Department of Health Promotion and Health Education National Taiwan Normal University
Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a common disease that affects elderly people. It is listed as one of the top four diseases, along with dementia, stroke, and coronary heart disease, leading to disabilities in elderly people. The pain and restrictions in leg joint activity caused by knee OA seriously impact quality of life. The participants of this study comprised 104 patients with an average age of 65, who were recruited from a teaching hospital in southern Taiwan. The perceptions and coping strategies of patients diagnosed with knee OA were assessed by a semistructured questionnaire, which was designed according to the common sense model.The findings revealed that the study patients considered pain to be the primary symptom of knee OA; therefore, pain is an important indicator of severity. Most patients believed that knee OA was caused by wearing out the joint from manual labor or that it was a part of the natural aging process. Medical treatment was considered only after various other measures had failed to control or relieve the pain. A number of elderly patients often delayed medical treatment because of no accompanying family, financial issue, transport inconvenience, or fear of surgery. Most of their knowledge on knee OA was based on information provided by physicians, family, or friends. Certain patients neglected self-care because of over optimism in the curative effects of surgery. Older age and lower educational background influenced the degree to which patients sought or understood medical information.We recommend that the patients suffering from OA must be monitored for their depression status and delay managing because of direct or indirect burdens and inadequate alternative treatments, respectively. We also suggest that disease surveys should be simplified for early diagnosis of knee OA, and that self-care educational programs may be developed to reduce pain and prevent knee OA among elderly people with low literacy.
|Appears in Collections:||健康促進與衛生教育學報|
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