Incorporating patient-reported outcomes in total joint arthroplasty registries: challenges and opportunities

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2013 Nov;471(11):3482-8. doi: 10.1007/s11999-013-3193-2.


Background: Total joint arthroplasty (TJA) registries traditionally have focused on implant longevity and rates of revision surgery. Registries would benefit from the addition of standardized patient-reported outcomes (PROs) such as pain relief and improved physical function. However, PROs have not been routinely adopted, and their incorporation into TJA registries presents challenges.

Questions/purposes: We review current PRO use by existing national registries, challenges to integrating PROs in national registries, lessons from national registries that have integrated PROs, and suggestions to guide future adoption of PROs.

Methods: We conducted a literature search of papers addressing PRO use in national knee and hip arthroplasty registries, resulting in 15 articles. These publications were supplemented by discussions with thought leaders from international registries. WHERE ARE WE NOW?: Some national TJA registries are collecting PROs and valuable research is emerging. However, challenges exist, such as selecting suitable PROs, selection bias in countries without government-mandated participation for all hospitals, and challenges with missing data. WHERE DO WE NEED TO GO?: The ideal system will incorporate PROs into TJA registries. In so doing, it will be important to choose suitable PROs and develop innovative methods to collect PROs to ensure complete data and sustainability. HOW DO WE GET THERE?: New methods are required to meet the challenges related to registry design, logistics of PRO collection, and registry cost and sustainability. Modifications to the traditional hospital- and implant-centric design and new procedures to collect complete data from both patients and clinicians may be necessary. For instance, England and Wales, New Zealand, and Sweden developed methods to collect PROs after TJA directly from patients and a US TJA registry collects PROs as the primary outcome. Finally, to assure long-term sustainability, PRO data must be valuable to multiple stakeholders, including patients, clinicians, researchers, and policy makers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthroplasty, Replacement* / adverse effects
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Registries*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Treatment Outcome