BACKGROUND: Postoperative pain has a major influence on older adults' rehabilitation. There is a lack of knowledge regarding how older adults return to daily living after discharge.
AIMS: The primary aim of this study was to examine the association between moderate to severe pain during the first 5 postoperative days and pain 1 year after discharge in older adults after total hip arthroplasty (THA).
DESIGN: This was a prospective cohort study.
METHODS: The study was conducted from August 2019 to February 2020, in a University Hospital in Denmark and included a 5-day diary and a telephone interview postoperatively. The following main areas were investigated: pain levels, pain management, side effects from opioids, mood, fatigue, quality of sleep, and functional level. Associations between moderate to severe pain levels at 5 days after surgery and persistent pain at 1 year were evaluated through correlation analyses.
RESULTS: A total of 70 THA older adults returned the diary postoperatively. Thereafter, 62 participated in a 1-year follow-up interview. No associations were found between pain levels 5 days postoperatively and after 1 year. Fifteen older adults reported hip pain was present still 1 year after surgery, and 14 patients still used analgesics on daily basis. No correlation was found between levels of pain and quality of sleep 1 year after surgery.
CONCLUSIONS: No association was found between older adults with moderate to severe levels of pain during the first 5 days postoperatively and 1 year after surgery. Proactive follow-up strategies for older adults after discharge following THA may be indicated to promote optimal rehabilitation.