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Table 3 Themes and supporting quotations for interpretation of post-rehabilitation interviews

From: Health beliefs before and after participation on an exercised-based rehabilitation programme for chronic knee pain: Doing is believing

Theme Supporting Quote
Impact of programme:  
- ineffective "...I was disappointed, because I hoped, I just hoped...but it didn't sort of do what I wanted it to do for my knees and I don't think anything will... I think your age, as you get older, you know, you get a bit dodgy." Doris
- reduced pain "...the exercises we did at Dulwich were helping. and see I haven't had the pain... it was very helpful." Jack
- improved function "...I felt generally strong, you know. Walking up stairs, I mean, at times I used to have to go up one step at a time, but then after the exercise I could just walk up the stairs and I was even beginning to try to walk normal..." Derek
- improved psychosocial wellbeing "...Overall I have improved.... it's a feeling of general well being really... I feel a lot better in myself, I mean mentally, mostly mentally..." Rachel
-return to normality "...If I can get myself back to a little bit of [line dancing] then I kind of umm, my life is kind of coming back to normality, you know, cause it can take over your life a bit as I say, you are scared of what to do and what not to do..." Celia
Reason for improvement:  
- better knowledge and understanding "...I learned so much from [the physiotherapist]...I learnt about pain management..." Geraldine
"...It helped me understand arthritis much better..." Jacky
"...I class it as spring cleaning my mind..." Celia
- exercise "... [helped understand] how to cope with pain...that exercise does help ease the pain and helps your mobility..." Jacky
- allayed fears "...I didn't do no exercise, I didn't know I should do, I was frightened...but since I knew of the exercise, I have been doing it..." Josephine
"...I thought if I exercise I am going to make the pain worse...they have showed me that I can still exercise even though I have a bad knee..." Alan
- alternative
self-management strategy
"...I thought it was good, very good. To my mind I was helping to do something to help my knee pain..." Robert
"...This [exercise] is much better because like I said I found is helpful, because I don't take any medicine..." Martina
"...If you don't exercise you're never going to be able to manage the pain...Gentle exercise actually relieves the pain, and it means that you should be able to cut down [analgesia] and that the answer is not necessarily knee replacement..." Geraldine
"...I mean exercise might stop it from getting worse any sooner that it would have done...before it deteriorates to the point where an operation might be needed..." Cathy
- structure "...I had the opportunity to ask lots of questions..."Monica
- group interaction
and support
"...you are all in there with similar problems, and it's the friendliness, like on a, personal level." Monica
"...we formed very tightly knit group...we were all trying to help one another, you know." Celia
- physiotherapist "...I think it's really a lot, in fact an enormous amount, to do with the facilitator, she's both kind of encouraging and yielding and nurturing and understanding, but also was able to use a bit of steel and get us off our bums, you know, so she's got those kind of qualities naturally..." Donald
"... [Physiotherapist] gave us enormous confidence because she is such a, she is very very confident, obviously highly qualified, so it was good to have some body for an hour giving you good advice, which was sound..." Jack
Prognosis:  
- optimistic "...I feel that I am not thinking about my knee pain anymore as a pain, I think about it more as preventing it by doing the exercises" Jack
- incurable "... [arthritis]can ease...but there is no cure for it, so it's learning to live with it..." Jack
- surgery "...I mean I feel better in myself, just a sense of well being but no won't be able to walk unless I have the surgery. It's just old age you see, and I get tired walking now so I think if I get them done I will be much better, I'll go on as much as I can doing the exercises..." Rachel
Future management:  
- exercise at home "...I do the exercises upstairs when I get up in the morning... I find I might have a bit more time, because during the day you tend to let things slide." Doris
- common activities "...I make sure I walk up and down the stairs during the day, cos that's one of the exercises you do..." Rachel
"...I'm gonna exercise indoors. But if I walk I don't need much..." Sandra
- join class "...Well I will just carry on with the umm, thingy bob [aqua aerobics], I can keep it under control. I am quite confident at the moment..." Alan
- weight control "...If you are overweight it puts more pressure on your knee joints...if I lose weight, keep it under control, it won't get like real bad..." Alan
- lack of support "...I think if there could be ongoing support in a group I'd feel positive..." Donald
"...It would be nice to know if you were being naughty with your exercises you could ring them up and they just sort of say, right, get in here and you get in there for a couple of weeks or something to get you back into it." Celia