Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of spouses' involvement in older patients' care trajectories, using case management as intervention in total hip replacement through fast‐track programmes.
Background: Patients need their spouses to be involved in their fast‐track programmes and this involvement is often associated with improvements in patient outcomes. However, the effect of spouses' involvement in older patients' fast‐track programmes has not yet been investigated.
Design: A two‐group quasi‐experimental design with pre‐test and repeated post‐test measures was conducted in an orthopaedic ward of a Danish Regional Hospital from February 2014–June 2015. Spouse–patient dyads were initially recruited for the control group (n = 14), receiving usual care; dyads for the intervention group (n = 15) were recruited afterwards, receiving case management intervention elements before, during and after admission.
Methods: Face‐to‐face interviews on questionnaires were conducted with spouses and patients at baseline, 2 weeks and 3 months after discharge, measuring spouses' caregiver satisfaction, difficulties and level of anxiety and patients' functional and nutritional status, pain and level of depression.
Results: The results showed that there were no differences between the groups with regard to any of the outcome measures. However, statistically significant improvements were found in the patient groups on functional status, pain and depression and in the groups of spouses on caregiver satisfaction.
Conclusion: The case management intervention seemed to have an effect in patient and spousal groups; however, this improvement could also have been caused by the effect of fast‐track treatment.