BACKGROUND: Patient satisfaction metrics are emerging as determinants of quality of care and reimbursement after spine surgery. Identifying modifiable factors that improve satisfaction is of utmost importance.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether patient-related factors or patient-reported outcomes could predict dissatisfaction after spine surgery.
METHODS: Patients undergoing elective surgery for degenerative lumbar and cervical disease over a period of 2 years were enrolled in a prospective longitudinal registry. Patient-reported outcome, the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI)/Neck Disability Index (NDI), and numeric rating scale for back/neck (BP/NP) and leg/arm pain (LP/AP), were recorded at baseline and the 12-month follow-up. Previously published values of minimal clinically important differences of 14.9% for ODI, 17.3% for NDI, 2.1/2.6 for BP/NP, and 2.8/4.1 for LP/AP were used. Patient satisfaction was assessed with the North American Spine Society Satisfaction Questionnaire.
RESULTS: A total of 1645 patients underwent elective spine surgery (811 male patients; age, 57 ± 13 years). Eighty-three percent of patients (1362) reported satisfaction with outcome 12 months after surgery. In a multivariable analysis, after controlling for an array of patient-specific factors, the inability to achieve minimal clinically important difference for ODI/NDI (P < .001; odds ratio [OR] = 4.215; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.7-6.5), BP/NP pain (P < .001; OR = 3.1; 95% CI, 2.188-4.43), and LP/NP (P < .001; OR = 2.6, 95% CI, 1.8-3.6); Medicaid/uninsured payer status (P = .04; OR = 1.39; 95% CI, 1.01-1.93); and higher baseline ODI/NDI (P = .002; OR = 1.11; 95% CI, 1.04-1.19) and BP/NP scores (P = .002; OR = 1.03; 95% CI, 1.01-1.06) were the independent predictors of patient dissatisfaction at 12 months after surgery.
CONCLUSION: Patient satisfaction with outcome may accurately represent the effectiveness of surgical spine care in terms of 1-year improvement in pain and disability. However, healthcare stakeholders relying on satisfaction as a proxy of overall quality or effectiveness of care need to account for Medicaid/uninsured payer status and worse baseline pain and disability scores as confounders.
From: Patient-Specific Factors Associated With Dissatisfaction After Elective Surgery for Degenerative Spine Diseases by Chotai et al.