Mindfulness, cognitive processes and coping in chronic illness: insights from a study of joint replacement surgery

Project Details

This study  uses a mindfulness-based psychological intervention to enhance outcomes in people undergoing total joint replacement (TJA) and, in so doing, test hypotheses about coping with chronic illness in an aged population.

This study is important because;
i) the number of TJAs undertaken in Australia has doubled over the last decade (80,000 in 2010);
ii) The incidence of pre-operative psychological distress in TJA patients is reported between 30 and 60%; and
iii) pre-operative psychological distress is associated with poorer pain and functional outcomes after TJA.

This study is the first of its kind and will provide a greater understanding of the role of a mental health enhancement program on the physical recovery of TJA patients



  • Dr Simon Knowles (CI-E), Department of Psychological Sciences, Faculty of Health, Arts and Design, Swinburne University


ARC Discovery Project

Research Outcomes

Knowles S., Nelson E., Castle D., Salzberg M., Choong P.F.M., Dowsey M.M. Using the common sense model of illness to examine interrelationships between symptom severity and health outcomes in end-stage osteoarthritis patients. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2016

Dowsey M.M., Castle D.J., Knowles S.R., Monshat K., Salzberg M.R., Choong P.F.M. Evaluating the effect of mindfulness training prior to total joint arthroplasty on post-operative pain and physical function: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial to. Trials 2014, 15(1): 208

Nelson, E.A., Dowsey, M.M., Knowles, S.R., Castle, D.J., Salzberg, M.R., Monshat, K., Dunin, A.J.,  Choong, P.F.M. Systematic Review of the Efficacy of pre-surgical Mind-Body Based Therapies on post-operative Outcome Measures. Complement Ther Med. 2013 Dec;21(6):697-711.

Research Group

Advanced Limb Reconstruction

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Musculoskeletal , Critical Care, Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre


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