Which Factors Are Associated with Satisfaction with Treatment Results in Patients with Hand and Wrist Conditions? A Large Cohort Analysis

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2022 Jan 4. doi: 10.1097/CORR.0000000000002107. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Background: Satisfaction with treatment results is an important outcome domain in striving for patient-centered and value-based healthcare. Although numerous studies have investigated factors associated with satisfaction with treatment results, most studies used relatively small samples. Additionally, many studies have only investigated univariable associations instead of multivariable associations; to our knowledge, none have investigated the independent association of baseline sociodemographics, quality of life, improvement in pain and function, experiences with healthcare delivery, and baseline measures of mental health with satisfaction with treatment results.

Questions/purposes: (1) What factors are independently associated with satisfaction with treatment results at 3 months post-treatment in patients treated for common hand and wrist conditions? (2) What factors are independently associated with the willingness to undergo the treatment again at 3 months post-treatment in patients treated for common hand and wrist conditions? Among the factors under study were baseline sociodemographics, quality of life, improvement in pain and function, experiences with healthcare delivery, and baseline measures of mental health.

Methods: Between August 2018 and May 2020, we included patients who underwent carpal tunnel release, nonsurgical or surgical treatment for thumb-base osteoarthritis, trigger finger release, limited fasciectomy for Dupuytren contracture, or nonsurgical treatment for midcarpal laxity in one of the 28 centers of Xpert Clinics in the Netherlands. We screened 5859 patients with complete sociodemographics and data at baseline. Thirty-eight percent (2248 of 5859) of these patients had complete data at 3 months. Finally, participants were eligible for inclusion if they provided a relevant answer to the three patient-reported experience measure (PREM) items. A total of 424 patients did not do this because they answered "I don't know" or "not applicable" to a PREM item, leaving 31% (1824 of 5859) for inclusion in the final sample. A validated Satisfaction with Treatment Result Questionnaire was administered at 3 months, which identified the patients' level of satisfaction with treatment results so far on a 5-point Likert scale (research question 1, with answers of poor, moderate, fair, good, or excellent) and the patients' willingness to undergo the treatment again under similar circumstances (research question 2, with answers of yes or no). A hierarchical logistic regression model was used to identify whether baseline sociodemographics, quality of life, change in outcome (patient-reported outcome measures for hand function and pain), baseline measures of mental health (including treatment credibility [the extent to which a patient attributes credibility to a treatment] and expectations, illness perception, pain catastrophizing, anxiety, and depression), and PREMs were associated with each question of the Satisfaction with Treatment Result Questionnaire at 3 months post-treatment. We dichotomized responses to our first question as good and excellent, which were considered more satisfied, and poor, moderate, and fair, which were considered less satisfied. After dichotomization, 57% (1042 of 1824) of patients were classified as more satisfied with the treatment results.

Results: The following variables were independently associated with satisfaction with treatment results, with an area under the curve of 0.82 (95% confidence interval 0.80 to 0.84) (arranged from the largest to the smallest standardized odds ratio [SOR]): greater decrease in pain during physical load (standardized odds ratio 2.52 [95% CI 2.18 to 2.92]; p < 0.001), patient's positive experience with the explanation of the pros and cons of the treatment (determined with the question: "Have you been explained the pros and cons of the treatment or surgery?") (SOR 1.83 [95% CI 1.41 to 2.38]; p < 0.001), greater improvement in hand function (SOR 1.76 [95% CI 1.54 to 2.01]; p < 0.001), patients' positive experience with the advice for at-home care (determined with the question: "Were you advised by the healthcare providers on how to deal with your illness or complaints in your home situation?") (SOR 1.57 [95% CI 1.21 to 2.04]; p < 0.001), patient's better personal control (determined with the question: "How much control do you feel you have over your illness?") (SOR 1.24 [95% CI 1.1 to 1.40]; p < 0.001), patient's more positive treatment expectations (SOR 1.23 [95% CI 1.04 to 1.46]; p = 0.02), longer expected illness duration by the patient (SOR 1.20 [95% CI 1.04 to 1.37]; p = 0.01), a smaller number of symptoms the patient saw as part of the illness (SOR 0.84 [95% CI 0.72 to 0.97]; p = 0.02), and less concern about the illness the patient experiences (SOR 0.84 [95% CI 0.72 to 0.99]; p = 0.04). For willingness to undergo the treatment again, the following variables were independently associated with an AUC of 0.81 (95% CI 0.78 to 0.83) (arranged from the largest to the smallest standardized OR): patient's positive experience with the information about the pros and cons (determined with the question: "Have you been explained the pros and cons of the treatment or surgery?") (SOR 2.05 [95% CI 1.50 to 2.80]; p < 0.001), greater improvement in hand function (SOR 1.80 [95% CI 1.54 to 2.11]; p < 0.001), greater decrease in pain during physical load (SOR 1.74 [95% CI 1.48 to 2.07]; p < 0.001), patient's positive experience with the advice for at home (determined with the question: "Were you advised by the healthcare providers on how to deal with your illness or complaints in your home situation?") (SOR 1.52 [95% CI 1.11 to 2.07]; p = 0.01), patient's positive experience with shared decision-making (determined with the question: "Did you decide together with the care providers which care or treatment you will receive?") (SOR 1.45 [95% CI 1.06 to 1.99]; p = 0.02), higher credibility the patient attributes to the treatment (SOR 1.44 [95% CI 1.20 to 1.73]; p < 0.001), longer symptom duration (SOR 1.27 [95% CI 1.09 to 1.52]; p < 0.01), and patient's better understanding of the condition (SOR 1.17 [95% CI 1.01 to 1.34]; p = 0.03).

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that to directly improve satisfaction with treatment results, clinicians might seek to: (1) improve the patient's experience with healthcare delivery, (2) try to influence illness perception, and (3) boost treatment expectations and credibility. Future research should confirm whether these suggestions are valid and perhaps also investigate whether satisfaction with treatment results can be predicted (instead of explained, as was done in this study). Such prediction models, as well as other decision support tools that investigate patient-specific needs, may influence experience with healthcare delivery, expectations, or illness perceptions, which in turn may improve satisfaction with treatment results.

Level of evidence: Level III, therapeutic study.