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Can J Surg. 2012 Aug;55(4):259-63. doi: 10.1503/cjs.002811.

Patient compliance with a group model of care: the hernia clinic.

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Department of General Surgery, Slotervaartziekenhuis, Louwesweg 6, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



In February 2006, a hernia clinic was established at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was based on a group model of care and was established to increase effective use of resources to reduce waiting times. We conducted a survey of patients referred to the hernia clinic to determine compliance.


We developed and mailed a questionnaire to all patients who had surgery after assessment at the hernia clinic. Data were analyzed for the entire study group and for 2 subgroups: patients in group I had the same surgeon for assessment and surgery, whereas patients in group II had a different surgeon for assessment and surgery. Differences between subgroups were assessed using the 2-tailed Fisher exact test. Waiting times were recorded.


In all, 94 patients responded to the survey. Of these, 67% had the same surgeon for assessment and surgery, and 31% had a different surgeon; 2% were not sure. Two-thirds were comfortable having their surgery performed by a surgeon whom they met the day of surgery. Most patients had confidence in the competence of any surgeon and considered service to be better and faster in a specialized centre. Most felt that a group of surgeons providing hernia care uses resources more effectively. The waiting times from referral to initial consult decreased from 208 (standard deviation [SD] 139) days in 2007 to 59 (SD 70) days in 2009.


Patient compliance with a group model of care for hernia surgery is high.

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