Psycho-social impact of DDH: Research Paper

There is a limited amount of research available that explores the psycho-social impact hip dysplasia has on adult hip dysplasia patients. An article by Tina Gambling and Andrew Long investigate this topic by conducting interviews and systematically reviewing the common traits in patient stories. They interviewed 97 participants to reveal an interesting connection among patients treated for hip dysplasia.

The paper quickly identified two distinct groups.

  1. One group with a prompt diagnosis and treatment was generally accompanied by relatively rapid onset of sharp pain. All participants experienced an underlining feeling of shock and distress. Many described being very unsure of the surgery and what would happen after the surgery.
  2. The second group had a delayed diagnosis of more than one  year and delayed treatment was generally accompanied by gradual onset of pain without dramatic turning points until the pain became excessive. Adaptive changes to cope with the pain were made while seeing numerous professionals including physicians, chiropractors, therapists, personal trainers and sometimes psychologists. This group describes years of living with pain and feeling debilitated prior to diagnosis.

This subset experienced greater impact on quality of life and psycho-social well-being. DDH patient’s employment, education and social connections, and the impact DDH had on their developmental milestones such as missing college or missing opportunities on creating relationships with peers.

This study identifies many common feelings and experiences of hip dysplasia patients. It calls attention to the need for early diagnosis and treatment to prevent prolonged physical and psycho-social disability.

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