HealthDay News — According to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in San Diego, patients meeting the criteria for informed, patient-centered (IPC) decisions have significantly better quality of life after orthopedic surgery.

Karen Sepucha, PhD, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study for patients with knee or hip osteoarthritis, lumbar herniated disc, or lumbar spinal stenosis. 

Patients were surveyed one week after an initial visit with a specialist.

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Patients were sent a follow-up survey six months after the visit or six months after surgery. The researchers found that 36.0% of the patients met the criteria for IPC decisions.

Across all topics, patients who made IPC decisions had significantly better overall and disease-specific quality of life. In unadjusted analyses, there were increases of 0.06 for the EuroQ-5D, 4.72 for Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score symptoms, 2.93 for Harris Hip Score, and −7.59 for the Oswestry Disability Index.

IPC decision making correlated with being more likely to be extremely satisfied with pain (76.68 versus 41.86%; P=.0003), very or extremely satisfied with treatment (70.68 versus 34.66%; P=.0003), and having less regret (5.2 versus 15.0%; P=.0006).

“Evidence from this study suggests that well-informed patients who receive their preferred treatment have higher satisfaction and small improvements in health outcomes,” the authors write.


Sepucha K, et al. Shared Decision Making in Orthopaedic Care Leads to Better Health Outcomes: A Prospective Cohort Study. Paper presented at: Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; March 2017; San Diego, CA.

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