Inpatient satisfaction with care is a standard indicator of the quality of care delivered during hospitalization. Total hip and knee replacement (THR/TKR) for osteoarthritis (OA) are among the most successful orthopaedic interventions having a positive impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The aim was to evaluate the effect of satisfaction shortly after hospital discharge on 1-month, 6-month and 1-year Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short Form (SF-36) scores for OA patients after THR and TKR, controlling for patient characteristics, clinical presentation and preoperative SF-36 scores.
A multicenter prospective cohort study recruited 231 patients with OA scheduled to receive THR or TKR. Satisfaction was assessed by the Patients Judgment of Hospital Quality (PJHQ) questionnaire and HRQoL by the SF-36 questionnaire. Linear models for repeated measures assessed the relation between satisfaction (scores were dichotomized) and postoperative SF-36 scores.
Of 231 participants, 189 were followed up 12 months after discharge (mean age 69 SD = 8; 42.6% male). The mean length of hospital stay was 13.5 (SD = 4) days. After adjustment for preoperative SF-36 scores, sociodemographic and clinical patient characteristics, satisfied patients (PJHQ score > 70) had higher SF-36 scores 1 year after surgery than did less-satisfied patients. Admission, medical care, and nursing and daily care scores mainly predicted bodily pain, mental health, social functioning, vitality and general health scores of the SF-36.
Besides being a quality-of-care indicator, immediate postoperative patient satisfaction with care may bring a new insight into clinical practice, as a predictor of self-perceived health status after surgery.