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What I learned from my illness. Listen to what a patient tells you about changes in their experience and function, not about their current state
  1. Derick T Wade
  1. Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Derick T Wade, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford OX3 0BP, UK; derick.wade{at}


I only realised how much my osteoarthritic hip had altered my life after the operation enabled me to return to activities I did not know I had stopped. Identifying need for and benefit from treatments should focus on relative changes in experience and function, not on a person’s absolute state at a particular time.

  • pain
  • denial
  • disability

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  • Contributors I wrote it all.

  • Funding The author has not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed by Jeremy Hobart, Plymouth, UK.

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