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Table 4 Personal support illustrative quotes

From: The importance of informational, clinical and personal support in patient experience with total knee replacement: a qualitative investigation

(1) Family and friends as a source of personal support
 “My son has been very helpful. He’d do the shopping or the laundry and cleaning or drive me places to my appointments.”
 “My wife and daughter were trying this idea of one on each side and then three people abreast across can’t go up the staircase. But our nurse friend knew how to negotiate all that.”
 “There are people here in the co-op. They were only a phone call away if I needed anything. They’d phone, ‘I’m going grocery shopping. Do you need anything?’“
 “I needed to get to a physio…I didn’t want to impose on [my friends] to drive me over there and sit for an hour. But I couldn’t really trust my husband because he’s got dementia.”
 “The whole surgery thing made [my husband] very anxious. So his daughter had come to stay with us for a couple of days…and once I had the surgery she left. So I had to get back on my feet almost immediately and I was driving within 10 days, you know, could just barely move my foot but I could move it enough, to drive the car.”
 “[My friend] said, “Well, we can’t go walking or do anything because you’re an invalid. You can’t walk.’ So my social life has gone downhill.”
 “Our church family was so supportive too…It’s incredible, the cards, the phone calls, the meals I would get…it shows they care. I think that is such a huge part of recovery.”
(2) Other TKA patients as a source of personal support
 “[My friends who had knee surgery] knew what it was all about and they told me how important it is. ‘Do your exercises. Don’t put them off.’ And when I could see how well they were doing, it encouraged me.”
 “I talked to more people that are waiting to have [their knee replacement] done to encourage them. I find that a lot of people are scared and I try to encourage them because I say you just won’t believe how you feel the day after your surgery to have that pain anymore.”
 “I spoke to about half a dozen people that had it and they were all walking around, they were fine, they were back to playing sports and doing whatever.”
(3) Self as a source of personal support
 “I was prepared and knew you need to have a toilet riser, you need to have a cane, you need to have a walker… I even went to the Red Cross and got everything there.”
 “One of the things I learned [before surgery was] change your life before [surgery] and you’ll heal better. Which I did. I stopped drinking. I’m not a big drinker but I totally stopped alcohol.”
 “I was very good about doing all my exercises every single day, twice a day as they told me. I went to physio on my own after I ran out of physio at the hospital, which I have no coverage for so that was another three hundred and fifty bucks [out of my pocket.]”
 “I was also an active participant in the process which I think has got to be one of the keys to it. You can’t be a passive person and let them kind of do things to you because ultimately you have to be responsible for your own rehabilitation and recovery, be involved in it right from the very beginning.”
(4) Employers as a source of personal support
 “The union is supportive. The company is supportive… People try to be as accommodating as they can if somebody needs help.”
 “So I postponed going to work for that month, plus I work for a doctor and she knows what is involved, and she said, ‘No, definitely take another month off, take the time that you need.’”
 “I am not at full time yet. I am working five hours a day. I hoped to increase that but my knee would keep flaring up and I couldn’t attend at all. Work has agreed to rent a recliner. Sometimes my knee is swollen and I need to keep it up. That’s the difficult part.”
 “We have a really good extended health care program. They covered everything….I had to get a pool pass. He just said, ‘Just send us a receipt. We’ll cover you.’”
 “I’ve had some issues with my employment, about getting back to work and its very aggravating and its very stressful…after two months they were phoning me, ‘You can come back to work.’… But then I said I also have physio. There’s where they have a fine line: you go to physio and now you’re on sick time again.”
 “I went back to work and did full time for three months and I just crashed. I couldn’t do it anymore… My manager was…unsympathetic.”