Norwegian version

Public defence: Vibeke Bull Sellevold

Vibeke Bull Sellevold will defend her thesis "Exploring persistent postsurgical pain from the patient’s perspective five years after total knee arthroplasty: A mixed methods study” for the PhD in Health Sciences.

If you join online, the Zoom meeting ID is 690 3253 4848 and the passcode is 032024.

The ordinary opponents are

The leader of the public defence is Associate Professor Edel Jannecke Svendsen, OsloMet.

The main supervisor is Professor Alfhild Dihle, OsloMet. The co-supervisors are Professor Simen Alexander Steindal, Lovisenberg Diaconal University College and Senior Researcher Maren Falch Lindberg, Lovisenberg Diaconal Hospital.

  • Abstract

    Knee joint replacement (arthroplasty) is a common surgical procedure offered to patients with painful end-stage knee osteoarthritis when other treatments have failed. The results are generally good with most patients experiencing reduction in pain, and functional improvement.

    However, approximately 20 percent of the patients experience postsurgical pain twelve months after surgery. There is scarce knowledge about how those experiencing pain at twelve months are doing beyond the twelve month mark.

    To learn more about these patients, we employed a combination of questionnaires and individual interviews to explore their experiences of living with persistent pain five to seven years after surgery.

    It is important to understand which patients are at risk of developing persistent pain after surgery, and also what they perceive as most important related to their pain experiences.

    With increased knowledge health professionals may provide better and individually targeted care pre- and postoperatively and may achieve better outcomes for this group of patients.


    Our study showed that more anxiety pre-operatively was associated with moderate to severe pain and pain-related functional impairment five years after surgery.

    Furthermore, we found that more pre-operative pain, higher number of painful sites, and low osteoarthritis severity also were factors associated with moderate to severe pain.

    In the group of patients experiencing persistent pain twelve months after surgery, participants told stories of emotional struggles and long lasting painful conditions.

    The burden of more painful conditions, often in addition to psychological stress, left the participants struggling, oftentimes for years before surgery.

    Their stories described a vicious cycle of pain, poor physical function and a deteriorating quality of life, both physically, socially, and psychologically prior to surgery.

    However, the majority of our participants experienced a decrease in pain between twelve months and five to seven years after surgery.

    Although persistent knee pain still caused certain limitations for the participants, pain seemed to be less influential in their everyday lives, and no one regretted having surgery.

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