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A pilot study investigating the use of at-home, web-based questionnaires compiling patient-reported outcome measures following total hip and knee replacement surgeries.

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Prince Charles Hospital and the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Trauma and Orthopaedic Department South Wales, UK.


Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are used routinely in NHS. Traditional pen-and-paper questionnaire collection can be time-consuming for both patients and clinic staff. The purpose of the current study was to determine whether a web-based PROMs system has the potential to provide satisfactory patient compliance and whether compiled data are equivalent to pen-and-paper PROMs data. A series of 82 patients who had joint replacement surgery was identified. Each patient was contacted by letter to register on the website and to follow the instructions to render an Oxford score. A second request was sent to those failing to initially register. Telephone contact was then made with non-responders to identify the reason for failed registration. Successfully collated online Oxford scores were compared with previously recorded pen-and-paper scores for each patient from a prospectively updated database. Of the 82 patients identified, 61 (74%) received a letter or were otherwise contacted by telephone. Of these, 27 (44%) patients confirmed that they had access to the Internet. A total of 21 complete sets of data were collected. On review, the available secure online Oxford outcome scores demonstrated a mean of 30.1 (SD 11.4, range: 9-47). This mean score was comparable to the pen-and-paper database mean score of 29.1 (SD 11.8, range: 9-48) for the respective patients. Of the 27 respondents with Internet access, 21 (78%) produced complete scores that were available for real-time review. Available online scores were comparable to those collected via traditional means. With increased Internet availability and improved communication, remote web-based collection of patient reported outcomes may facilitate enhanced and efficient follow-up of patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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