Arthritis: Predicting Probability of Joint Replacement Surgery
The need for improved patient education of people with arthritis is highlighted in new work by UHN researcher Dr. Elizabeth Badley, Dr. Gillian Hawker (from Women's College Hospital) and other Toronto-based researchers, who looked at factors underlying a patient's decision to undergo joint replacement surgery.
In a prospective study, the researchers recorded information about 3,307 seniors who were experiencing symptoms of arthritis in 1995-1997. In 1999, the researchers followed up with 2,103 respondents and found that - out of factors including education level, height, weight, socioeconomic factors, employment and living arrangements - the most important determining factor was willingness to have the surgery.
"Joint replacement surgery is a cost-effective treatment for debilitating arthritis of the hip and knee, and disparities in rates of surgery are troubling. Willingness to consider surgery as a treatment option results from improved patient understanding. This underlines the fact that we need to continue to develop and implement strategies to educate the community about arthritis and replacement surgery outcomes," says Dr. Badley.
Arthritis Rheum. 2006 Oct;54(10):3212-20. Research supported by Canadian Institutes of Health Research.