Impact of Patient-Surgeon Relationship on Patient’s Return to Work

Impact of Patient-Surgeon Relationship on Patient’s Return to Work

2019 J Bone Joint Surg Am

Dubert, T. | Girault, C. | Rozenblat, M. | Dorey, J. | Dubert-Khalifa, H. | Katz, G. | Volume: 101, Issue: 15, Pages: 1366-1374, Adolescent, Adult, Age Factors, Arm Injuries/diagnosis/rehabilitation/*surgery, Cohort Studies, *Disability Evaluation, Female, France, *Health Care Costs, Humans, Injury Severity Score, Logistic Models, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Middle Aged, Needs Assessment, Orthopedic Procedures/methods/rehabilitation, Physician-Patient Relations, Predictive Value of Tests, Proportional Hazards Models, Return to Work/*economics, Risk Assessment, Sex Factors, Sick Leave/*economics, Surveys and Questionnaires, Trauma Centers, Young Adult,

BACKGROUND: Upper-limb injuries and musculoskeletal disorders represent a major economic burden for both patients and society, largely due to limitations in returning to work. We hypothesized that a positive patient-surgeon relationship may facilitate patients’ recovery and lead to a faster return to work. METHODS: This longitudinal observational study comprised 219 patients, from 8 French hand trauma centers, who were 18 to 55 years of age and were on sick leave from work because of an injury or musculoskeletal disorder of the upper limb. In addition to instruments measuring patients’ functional scores and quality of life, the quality of the patient-surgeon relationship was assessed at enrollment using a specific questionnaire (Q-PASREL [Quality of PAtient-Surgeon RELationship]). Six months after enrollment, the return-to-work status was assessed. Logistic and Cox regression models were developed to identify predictors of return to work (yes/no) and the time off from work in days. RESULTS: Overall, 74% of the patients who returned to work within 6 months after enrollment had a high or medium-high Q-PASREL score, whereas 64% of the patients who were still on sick leave had a low or medium-low Q-PASREL score. The odds of patients with a low or medium-low Q-PASREL score returning to work were, respectively, 95% and 71% lower than the odds of patients with a high score doing so, with a percent difference of 56% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 40% to 71%) for low versus high (odds ratio [OR] = 0.05 [95% CI = 0.02 to 0.13]) and 25% (95% CI = 6% to 44%) for medium-low versus high (OR = 0.29 [95% CI = 0.11 to 0.76]). All Q-PASREL items and scores were significantly associated with return to work. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with a lower Q-PASREL score and more severe disability were less likely to return to work within 6 months and had a longer time off from work. Efforts to improve the quality of patient-surgeon relationships may minimize the duration of sick leaves and accelerate patient recovery. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Prognostic Level II. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

https://www.doi.org/10.2106/jbjs.18.01049