Preferences and motivation for weight loss among knee replacement patients: Implications for a patient-centered weight loss intervention

Christine A. Pellegrini*, Gwendolyn Ledford, Sara A. Hoffman, Rowland W. Chang, Kenzie A. Cameron

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: Most knee replacement patients are overweight/obese, yet are commonly excluded from evidence-based weight loss programs due to mobility limitations and barriers faced around the time of surgery. The purpose of this study was to identify knee replacement patient preferences for weight loss programs and qualitatively understand previous motives for weight loss attempts as well as strategies used to facilitate behavior changes. Methods: Patients who were either scheduled to have knee replacement or had one recently completed within the last 3 months were recruited to participate. Patients completed a brief weight loss program preference questionnaire assessing preferred components of a weight loss program (i.e. self-monitoring, educational topics, program duration). Qualitative interviews were completed to identify motives for and strategies used during past weight loss attempts. All interviews were transcribed, de-identified, and analyzed using constant comparative analysis. Results: Twenty patients (11 pre-operative and 9 post-operative) between 47 and 79 years completed the study (55% male, 90% White, and 85% with a BMI ≥25 kg/m2). Patients reported a preference for a weight loss program that starts before surgery, is at least 6 months in duration, and focuses both on diet and exercise. The majority of patients preferred to have a telephone-based program and wanted to track diet and physical activity on a smartphone application. The most common motive for weight loss mentioned by patients related to physical appearance (including how clothing fit), followed by wanting to lose weight to improve knee symptoms or to prevent or delay knee replacement. Strategies that patients identified as helpful during weight loss attempts included joining a formal weight loss program, watching portion sizes, and self-monitoring their dietary intake, physical activity, or weight. Conclusions: This study provides a preliminary examination into the motives for weight loss, strategies utilized during past weight loss attempts, and preferences for future weight loss programs as described by knee replacement patients. These results will help guide the development and adaptation of future patient-centered weight loss programs as well as help clinicians recommend targeted weight programs based on the specific preferences of the knee replacement population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number327
JournalBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017


  • Knee replacement
  • Obesity
  • Patient preference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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