April 30, 2015 – Better Outcomes


Anchor lead:  A simple telephone intervention may improve orthopedic surgery outcomes, Elizabeth Tracey reports

If you knew you could improve your outcome from spinal surgery with just a few phone calls, would you do it?  That was exactly the outcome found with such an intervention investigated by Richard Skolasky and colleagues at Johns Hopkins.

Skolasky: We did this in a one-hour, preoperative, telephone-based interview and then at six weeks and 12 weeks after surgery checked in with patients again over the phone, provided some additional there and compared how those people did compared to those who just went through standard care.  Patients who were in our intervention, Health Behavior Change Counseling, experienced greater engagement in their physical therapy, and they reported doing a higher percentage of their home exercise program compared to patients in the usual care group.  :30

Skolasky says people who participated in the telephone intervention reported much less pain and disability six months after surgery than those who did not.  They also saw improved scores on measures of physical functioning.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.