May 1, 2015 – Patient Engagement


Anchor lead: Getting patients involved pays off, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Patients who had spinal surgery and engaged in a telephone intervention designed to help them stay on track with their postoperative physical therapy experienced less pain and improved functioning six months later, a Johns Hopkins study led by Richard Skolasky found.  Skolasky says the patient is really the key.

Skolasky: I think it’s important to find these low-cost, low-tech ways to engage patients in their care.  More and more, when we look at self-management and managing these long periods of recovery, patients are being asked to do a lot of the heavy lifting, but they’re, compared with the other members of the healthcare team, have much less experience and much less knowledge, and sometimes they don’t necessarily see the relationship between changing their behavior and getting better.  So I think we need to do a better job of educating patients, empowering them, and making them feel like they have some skin in the game.   :30

Skolasky sees expansion of the intervention to many more types of surgery as well as other outcomes, such as reducing the need for pain medicine.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.