Mental health linked to joint replacement satisfaction

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Poor mental health before joint replacement surgery may predict less satisfaction afterward, according to a study from Canada.

In the Journal of Rheumatology, Dr. Rajiv Gandhi and colleagues from the University of Toronto, note that the incidence of patient-reported dissatisfaction after total joint arthroplasty can be up to 30 percent.

In the researchers’ study of 1,720 patients undergoing a first-time hip or knee replacement surgery, 1,290 reported being satisfied 1 year later and 430 reported being dissatisfied.

There were no significant demographic differences between satisfied and dissatisfied patients, and there were no differences in functional outcome after 1 year, as measured by scores on the Western Ontario McMaster University Osteoarthritis Index.

On multivariate analysis, only a lower preoperative score on the mental health domains of the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 (SF-36) was independently predictive of patient dissatisfaction with surgery.

Gandhi’s team suggests that “interventions designed to reduce psychological distress should be studied” to see if they may improve the outcome of patients who undergo joint replacement surgery.

SOURCE: Journal of Rheumatology, December 2008.

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