Patients expected better outcomes than surgeons after lumbar spine surgery, study says


Surgeons more accurately predicted patient-reported outcomes two years after lumbar spine surgery than patients, according to a study published in Spine.

Researchers had 402 patients and their surgeons predict patient-reported surgical outcomes on the New York City-based Hospital for Special Surgery Lumbar Spine Surgery Expectations Survey before their procedure and two years post-procedure. The researchers used the results to evaluate how the surgery fulfilled patient expectations on a 1-100 scale, where 100 was the highest.

Patient-reported scores averaged 73, where surgeon-reported scores averaged 57. Researchers then investigated which group had more accurate presurgical expectations. The patients scored .79, which indicated a general level of satisfaction, but surgeons scored 1.01, which indicated a high level of accuracy in estimates. In 73 percent of cases, surgeons either predicted reported outcomes exactly or had patient-reported outcomes surpass their expectations.

Carol Mancuso, MD, a general internist and clinical epidemiologist at HSS, said: "HSS spine surgeons very accurately predicted patient-reported outcomes two years after surgery, indicating that they are adept at integrating complex clinical, surgical and psychological factors that matter most to patients. Getting this right is an indicator of providing high-quality and high-value care."

HSS publicized the study Nov. 18.

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