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Hernia. 2017 Dec;21(6):933-940. doi: 10.1007/s10029-017-1684-x. Epub 2017 Oct 20.

Waiting for surgery: is waiting bad for anyone or everyone?

Author information

1
Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, 201-2206 East Mall, Vancouver, V6T 1Z3, Canada. jason.sutherland@ubc.ca.
2
Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, 201-2206 East Mall, Vancouver, V6T 1Z3, Canada.
3
Department of Surgery, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.
4
Section of Colorectal Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

For Canadians, as in many countries, waiting for elective surgery is expected. The duration of the wait raises questions about the maximum amount of time patients should wait for their surgery. The primary objective of this study was to test for a relationship between the length of time patients waited for elective hernia repair surgery and change in patients' self-reported health.

METHODS:

This study was based on a prospectively recruited longitudinal cohort of patients waiting for elective hernia repair surgery. Participants completed the PHQ-9, PEG, EQ-5D(3L) generic instruments, and the condition-specific COMI-hernia. Multivariate regression models explored associations between patient-reported outcomes and potential confounders, including age, sex, socio-economic status, and medical comorbidities.

RESULTS:

There were 118 participants and the modal age group was 61-70 years. The average wait time for participants was 22.5 weeks. There were no relationships between the duration of participants' wait for hernia repair and the change in patients' self-reported health for hernia-specific outcomes or overall health-related quality of life.

DISCUSSION:

There are gains in health-related quality of life to be realized by prioritizing symptomatic patients. Participants with greater pre-operative depression, pain, and hernia-related symptoms experienced an improvement in health prior to surgery, though more clarity is needed on the mechanisms that led to improved health.

CONCLUSION:

Many countries face problems with wait lists for elective surgery-and few have effective processes for triaging patients. This study shows that duration of time on the wait list was not associated with change in hernia patients' self-reported health.

KEYWORDS:

Elective surgery; Hernia; Patient-reported outcomes; Quality of life; Wait list

PMID:
29052082
DOI:
10.1007/s10029-017-1684-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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