Using Intervention Mapping to Develop an Occupational Advice Intervention to Aid Return to Work Following Hip and Knee Replacement in the United Kingdom

Background: There are increasing numbers of total hip replacements (THR) and total knee replacements (TKR) being performed in patients of working age. Providing patients undergoing TKR and THR with return to work advice might facilitate return to work. The aim of this paper is to report on the process used to systematically develop an occupational advice intervention to be delivered in hospital for those undergoing arthroplasty.

Methods: The six-step Intervention Mapping (IM) approach to development, implementation and evaluation of a theory and evidence-based interventions was followed. This paper reports on the development of the intervention covered by steps 1 to 4 of the IM process. Steps 1-3 gathered data on current practice and barriers to change using a mixed methods approach (cohort study of patients undergoing THR or TKR, stakeholder interviews, survey of practice, evidence synthesis) and provided a theoretical framework for intervention development. Step 4 used information from steps 1-3 in combination with a Delphi consensus process to develop the intervention and the associated tools and materials to facilitate its delivery.

Results: The final intervention identified included a number of core principles including: early patient identification; delivery of key information to patients and their employers; assessment and support by a member of the orthopaedic team; procedures for escalation based on patient need; mechanisms to support communication; and training and support for the clinical teams delivering care. A total of 13 patient and 20 staff performance objectives as delivery requirements, were supported by a range of tools, roles and training resources. The intervention addressed outcomes based at the individual and interpersonal levels of the ecological model.

Conclusions: Following the IM approach resulted in a structured and justified occupational intervention for delivery in secondary care for patients undergoing total hip and knee replacement. The feasibility of the intervention will subsequently be tested alongside further investigation to establish its effectiveness and cost-effectiveness.

Keywords: Arthroplasty.; Hip; Intervention mapping; Knee.; Occupational advice.; Return to Work.