Objectives: The aim of this paper was to compare selected indication parameters for patients scheduled for hip and knee replacement at orthopaedic units in Sweden.
Methods: Swedish orthopaedic clinics performing joint replacement were invited to enroll in the study. The study time was set to 2 years (from June 2006 to June 2008). The study subjects were patients undergoing hip or knee replacement for osteoarthritis (OA). For data collection, we used a Swedish priority criteria tool based on a translation from a form used in Canada with minor changes. The reliability and validity of the Swedish tool were investigated, with good reproducibility. The questionnaires (one for the doctor and one for the patient) were completed during decision making for surgery.
Results: Eleven hospitals enrolled in the study. In total, 2961 patients were included during the study period. Among these, 1662 were hip replacement patients and 1299 were knee replacement patients. The vast majority of patients undergoing hip or knee replacement had findings indicating severe OA, both clinically and radiologically according to the clinical priority tool. Statistically significant self-reported problems with pain at rest, walking and impaired activities of daily living were also observed. There were statistically significant differences in reported indications between the hospitals, both for hip OA patients and for knee OA patients.
Conclusions: A clinical priority criteria tool is a useful means of following changes in indications for certain procedures. It could also contribute to explaining differences in case mix when evaluating clinical outcome and patient satisfaction.
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.