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Orthopedics. 2018 Jan 1;41(1):e58-e63. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20171114-04. Epub 2017 Nov 21.

Medical Crowdfunding for Patients Undergoing Orthopedic Surgery.

Abstract

Crowdfunding for medical expenses is growing in popularity. Through several websites, patients create public campaign profiles to which donors can contribute. Research on medical crowdfunding is limited, and there have been no studies of crowdfunding in orthopedics. Active medical crowdfunding campaigns for orthopedic trauma, total joint arthroplasty, and spine surgery were queried from a crowdfunding website. The characteristics and outcomes of crowdfunding campaigns were abstracted and analyzed. For this study, 444 campaigns were analyzed, raising a total of $1,443,528. Among the campaigns that received a donation, mean amount raised was $4414 (SE, $611). Multivariate analysis showed that campaigns with unspecified location (odds ratio, 0.26; P=.0008 vs West) and those for total joint arthroplasty (odds ratio, 0.35; P=.0003 vs trauma) had significantly lower odds of receipt of any donation. Description length was associated with higher odds of donation receipt (odds ratio, 1.13 per +100 characters; P<.0001). Among campaigns that received any donation, those with Southern location (-65.5%, P<.0001), international location (-68.5%, P=.0028), and unspecified location (-63.5%, P=.0039) raised lower amounts compared with campaigns in the West. Goal amount was associated with higher amount raised (+3.2% per +$1000, P<.0001). Resources obtained through crowdfunding may be disproportionately available to patients with specific diagnoses, those from specific regions, those who are able to craft a lengthy descriptive narrative, and those with access to robust digital social networks. Clinicians are likely to see a greater proportion of patients turning to crowdfunding as it grows in popularity. Patients may ask physicians for information about crowdfunding or request testimonials to support campaigns. Surgeons should consider their response to such requests individually. These findings shed light on the dynamics of medical crowdfunding and support robust personal and professional deliberation. [Orthopedics. 2018; 41(1):e58-e63.].

PMID:
29156070
DOI:
10.3928/01477447-20171114-04
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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