Arthritis Patients, Providers Disagree About Knee Surgery

Communication affects patient satisfaction and likelihood of following treatment recommendations

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with osteoarthritis and their providers often disagree about the severity of their disease, and the risks and benefits of knee replacement surgery, which affects patient satisfaction and likelihood of adhering to treatment recommendations, according to a report in the Jan. 15 issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

Richard L. Street Jr., Ph.D., from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, and colleagues surveyed 27 health care providers and 74 patients with severe osteoarthritis regarding patient-provider communication and their agreement about various aspects of total knee replacement surgery.

The researchers found that patients and providers often disagreed about the severity of the patient's condition and the risks and benefits of knee replacement. Agreement on the severity of disease was better when providers spent less time simply giving information and more time partnership building, the authors report, and agreement on surgical concerns was worse when patients participated less. Patients were more likely to be satisfied and follow treatment recommendations if they agreed with their provider about the benefits of total knee replacement.

"Patients and providers often differ in their beliefs about the need for, risks of, and benefits of total knee replacement, and these differences can affect patient satisfaction and commitment to treatment," Street and colleagues conclude.

One of the study authors disclosed a financial relationship with the pharmaceutical industry.

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