The Effect of Impactful Articles on Clinical Practice in the United States: Corticosteroid Injection for Patients with Lateral Epicondylitis
Following publication of high-level evidence demonstrating that it is not an effective treatment for lateral epicondylitis, a reduction in the corticosteroid injection rate would be expected. The authors aimed to clarify current clinical practice pattern for lateral epicondylitis and identify factors that influence the introduction of evidence into clinical practice.Methods:
In this administrative claims analysis, the authors used 2009 to 2015 Truven MarketScan data to extract claims for corticosteroid injection, physical therapy, platelet-rich plasma injection, and surgery for lateral epicondylitis. The authors performed multivariable analysis using a generalized estimating equation model to identify the variables that potentially affect the odds of receiving a given treatment.Results:
Among 711,726 claims, the authors found that the odds of receiving a corticosteroid injection increased slightly after publication of contradictory evidence (OR, 1.7; 95 percent CI, 1.04 to 1.11 in 2015). Being male (OR, 1.21; 95 percent CI, 1.19 to 1.23), older (OR, 1.16; 95 percent CI, 1.13 to 1.19), and having managed care insurance (OR, 1.15; 95 percent CI, 1.13 to 1.18) significantly contributed to increased odds of receiving corticosteroid injections. Patients seen at facilities in the South (OR, 1.33; 95 percent CI, 1.30 to 1.36 compared with the Northeast) and by plastic/orthopedic surgeons (OR, 2.48; 95 percent CI, 2.43 to 2.52) also had increased odds of receiving corticosteroid injection.Conclusions:
Corticosteroid injection use did not decrease after publication of impactful articles, regardless of provider specialty or other patient-related factors. This finding emphasizes that there are various barriers for even high-level evidence to overcome the inertia of current practice.