OBJECTIVES: To assess a targeted 'therapy as required' model of post-discharge outpatient physiotherapy provision. Specifically, we investigated what proportion of patients accessed post-discharge physiotherapy following total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA), whether accessing therapy was associated with post-arthroplasty patient reported outcomes and whether it was possible to predict which patients would access post-discharge physiotherapy from pre-operative data.
DESIGN: Prospective, observational, longitudinal cohort study.
SETTING: Single National Health Service orthopaedic teaching hospital in the UK.
PARTICIPANTS: 1395 patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty and 1374 patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty.
PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Self-reported access of post-discharge physiotherapy, the Oxford Hip or Knee Score, EuroQol 5-dimension questionnaire and post-operative surgical episode satisfaction metric.
RESULTS: 662 (48.2%) patients with TKA and 493 (35.3%) patients with THA accessed additional post-discharge physiotherapy. Patient-reported outcomes (p<0.001) and surgical episode satisfaction (p=0.001) in both THA and TKA were higher in patients that did not participate in post-discharge physiotherapy. Regression models using pre-operative symptom burden and demographic data predicted post-discharge therapy access with an accuracy of only 17% greater than chance in patients with THA and 7% greater than chance in patients with TKA.
CONCLUSIONS: In a choice-based service model of 'therapy as required' following hip and knee arthroplasty only a third of THA and half of TKA patients accessed post-discharge therapy. Patients who did not access physiotherapy reported greater post-operative outcomes. This variation in the need for post-discharge physiotherapy suggests that targeting of rehabilitation may be a cost-effective model, however it was not possible to reliably predict which patients would access post-discharge physiotherapy from pre-operative data.
- total hip arthroplasty
- total knee arthroplasty