Preoperative education addressing postoperative pain in total joint arthroplasty: Review of content and educational delivery methods Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: Evaluate content and educational delivery methods of preoperative education in total joint arthroplasties of the hip and knee (THA and TKA) addressing postoperative pain. DATA SOURCES: Systematic searches conducted on Biomed Central,, CINAHL, the Cochrane Library, NLM Central Gateway, OVID, ProQuest (Digital Dissertations), PsycInfo, PubMed/Medline, ScienceDirect, and Web of Science. Secondary searching (pearling) was undertaken. DATA EXTRACTION: Data were extracted utilizing the participants, interventions, comparisons, and outcomes approach. STUDY SELECTION: All randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating the effect of preoperative education on postoperative pain in THA and TKA surgery were considered for inclusion. LIMITATIONS: Studies published in English; published within the last 20 years and patients over the age of 18. No limitations were set on specific outcome measures of pain. DATA SYNTHESIS: This review included 13 RCTs involving a total of 1,017 subjects who underwent THA or TKA. Educational delivery methods comprised verbal one-on-one or group education sessions, delivered within 4 weeks of surgery lasting an average of 30 minutes, and accompanied by other written materials. The educational content centered on descriptions of preoperative preparation, hospital stay, surgical procedure, immediate/intermediate experiences, expectations following surgery, rehabilitation, encouragement/reassurance, and answering common question associated with the surgical experience. CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative education centered on a biomedical model of anatomy and pathoanatomy as well as procedural information has limited effect in reducing postoperative pain after THA and TKA surgeries. Preoperative educational sessions that aim to increase patient knowledge of pain science may be more effective in managing postoperative pain.

publication date

  • 2013