Preoperative Depression, Smoking, and Employment Status are Significant Factors in Patient Satisfaction After Lumbar Spine Surgery

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Abstract

Study Design:

Prospective cohort study.

Objective:

To determine whether comorbidities and demographics, identified preoperatively, can impact patient outcomes and satisfaction after lumbar spine surgery.

Summary of Background Data:

The surgical treatment of lower back pain does not always eliminate a patient’s pain and symptoms. Revision surgeries are costly and expose the patient to additional risk. We aim to identify patient characteristics that may suggest a greater or lesser likelihood of postsurgical success by examining patient-reported measures and outcomes after surgery.

Methods:

Preoperative smoking status, self-reported depression, prevalence of diabetes, obesity, level of education, and employment status were assessed in the context of patient outcome and satisfaction after lumbar spine surgery. Patients were contacted before surgery, and at 3 and 12 months postoperatively, and responded to Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and EuroQol-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) self-assessment examinations, as well as a satisfaction measure.

Results:

A total of 166 patients who underwent lumbar spine surgeries at Iowa Spine and Brain Institute, a department of Covenant Medical Center, and were included in the National Neurosurgery Quality and Outcomes Database were assessed preoperatively, and at 3 and 12 months postoperatively using self-assessment tools. Depression, smoking, and employment status were found to be significant factors in patient satisfaction. Depressed patients, smokers, and patients on disability at the time of surgery have worse ODI and EQ-5D scores at all of the timepoints (baseline, 3 months, and 12 months postsurgery).

Conclusions:

Depression, smoking, and employment status, specifically whether a patient is on disability at the time of surgery, are all significant factors in patient satisfaction after lumbar spine surgery. These factors are also shown in impact ODI and EQ-5D scores. Surgeons should consider these particular characteristics when developing a lower back pain treatment plan involving surgery.

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