May 12, 2014
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Postoperative patient adherence did not correlate with improved results of rotator cuff repair

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Researchers of this study discovered no link between patient-reported postoperative adherence after rotator cuff repair and improved patient outcomes.

Researchers instructed 50 patients to wear an abduction brace for 6 weeks after undergoing repair for rotator cuff tears. Researchers evaluated the patients using American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) score, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) shoulder score and Simple Shoulder Test (SST). Patients also completed a medical adherence measurement questionnaire.

Overall, results showed an average patient adherence of 88%. However, after rotator cuff repair, researchers found no significant correlations between adherence and improvement in ASES, UCLA or SST scores. Only smoking status had a positive effect on adherence, while all other demographics, including hand dominance, mechanism of injury, repair complexity, comorbidities, living status, employment status and age, had no significant impact on self-measured adherence to postoperative restrictions, according to study results.

“Self-reported adherence is usually validated with patient surveillance or secondary sources. Because of these difficulties, our study measured adherence by use of patient questionnaires, a method that was previously validated in pediatric renal transplant patients. Recent data have demonstrated, however, that reported adherence is frequently higher than real adherence and may have little statistical value,” the researchers wrote in the study. “Given the tight distribution of the reported adherence and the negative skew found in this study, it is likely that our measured reported adherence was similarly affected and has contributed to clouding any possible correlation between adherence and outcome.”

Disclosure: The researchers have no relevant financial disclosures.