Patient-reported Allergies are Associated With Preoperative Psychological Distress and Less Satisfying Patient Experience in a Lumbar Spine Surgery Population

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Study Design:This was a retrospective cohort study.Objective:The main objectives of this study were: (1) to determine whether patient-reported allergies (PRAs) are associated with patient satisfaction scores, and (2) to clarify the association between PRAs and preoperative anxiety and depression in a lumbar spine surgery population.Summary of Background Data:Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey is currently used to measure the patient experience and there is concern that psychosocial factors are unaccounted for. Interestingly, PRAs have been linked to concurrent mood and other psychiatric disorders, as well as poor clinical outcomes in the orthopedic surgery setting.Methods:HCAHPS survey data, patient demographics, surgical characteristics, and preoperative health status were obtained for each patient. Allergies were categorized as medical (ie, medications) and environmental (ie, food, animals). Univariable and multivariable logistic regression models were used to determine whether the number of medical and environmental PRAs are associated with HCAHPS scores. In addition, multivariable logistic regression was used to analyze the association between PRAs and psychological distress.Results:In 421 patients included, PRAs were associated with lower HCAHPS scores under several dimensions of the patient experience of care, including: nursing communication, pain management, communication about medicines, and transition of care. Medical PRAs was an independent predictor of low satisfaction with communication about a medication’s side effects [odds ratio (OR), 0.88; P=0.03] and understanding the purpose for new medications (OR, 0.90; P=0.03). Environmental PRAs was an independent predictor of low satisfaction with both communication about a medication’s side effects (OR, 0.68; P=0.03), and pain control (OR, 0.67; P=0.01). Moreover, having a PRA (OR, 1.64; P=0.04) was associated with EuroQol-5 Dimensions anxiety/depression and having an environmental PRA (OR, 2.13; P=0.03) was associated with depression.Conclusions:These findings highlight the potential utility of PRAs to help identify patients with psychological distress who are at risk for a poor experience of lumbar spine surgery.

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