Patient Personality Affects TKA Outcomes

A 2007 JBJS study suggested that patients who are psychologically distressed have slightly greater levels of postoperative pain following total knee arthroplasty than non-distressed patients. Now, a study in the Journal of Orthopaedic Science finds that a patient’s overall personality can also influence outcomes after TKA. Using the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, Chinese researchers divided 387 TKA patients into one of four personality types: choleric, sanguine, melancholic, and phlegmatic. They then measured clinical TKA outcomes and satisfaction using the SF-36 and WOMAC instruments. Melancholic patients had the worst outcome scores, with sanguine patients (who are typically sociable, cooperative, and easygoing) scoring highest. The authors say clinicians could use these findings to identify people at risk of poor postoperative outcomes, and that such people might benefit from “better communication and individual treatment strategies during perioperative periods.”

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