BMC Health Services Research , Vol. 3, page(s): 11
Jun 24, 2003
BACKGROUND: The value of the Internet to deliver preoperative education would increase if there was variability in questions patients want answered. This study's goal was to have patients consulting an orthopedic surgeon about undergoing either a total hip arthroplasty (THA) or a total knee arthroplasty (TKA) rate the importance of different questions concerning their care. METHODS: We assembled questions patients might have about joint replacement surgery by analyzing the literature and querying a pilot group of patients and surgeons. Twenty-nine patients considering undergoing THA and 19 patients considering TKR completed a written survey asking them to rate 30 different questions, with a 5 point Likert scale from 1 (least important) - 5 (most important). RESULTS: For patients considering THA or TKR, the 4 highest rated questions were: Will the surgery affect my abilities to care for myself?, Am I going to need physical therapy?, How mobile will I be after my surgery?, When will I be able to walk normally again? The mean percentage disagreement was 42% for questions answered by TKR patients and 47% for the THA group. Some patients gave a high rating to questions lowly rated by the rest of the group. CONCLUSIONS: Although there was enough agreement to define a core set of questions that should be addressed with most patients considering THA or TKA, some of the remaining questions were also highly important to some patients. The Web may offer a flexible medium for accommodating this large variety of information needs.