Despite greater disability from knee osteoarthritis among Blacks, Whites are 3-5 times more likely to have total knee replacement (TKR). The authors explored whether beliefs among Blacks about arthritis and surgery contribute to this disparity. Ninety-four Blacks, ages 50 to 89, with knee arthritis underwent semistructured qualitative interviews regarding disability, beliefs about arthritis, beliefs about TKR, and treatment preferences. Content analyses yielded 6 themes: preference for natural remedies, negative expectations of surgery, beliefs about God's control, preference for continuing in their current state, relationships with specialists, and fear of surgery or death. Given its high levels of disability, this cohort had low expectations of TKR. Culturally sensitive educational programs might improve patient altitudes and beliefs regarding TKR, ultimately increasing appropriate usage.
((c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)