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18-10-2019 | Rheumatology | News | Article

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Social support may improve some outcomes after joint replacement

medwireNews: Findings from a systematic review and meta-analysis indicate that social support may have a beneficial effect on some outcomes after knee or hip replacement surgery.

Vikki Wylde (Southmead Hospital, Bristol, UK) and colleagues analyzed data from 56 cohort studies involving a total of 119,165 participants, with 13 studies included in the meta-analysis. They found that total WOMAC scores measured at least 3 months after surgery were significantly better among patients who received social support than those who did not (average difference=2.88 points), as were Oxford Knee Scores (average difference=0.29 points).

The researchers note in The Lancet Rheumatology that while WOMAC pain score improved with social support, WOMAC function score did not, and the associations between social support and 36-item short form health survey questionnaire results were inconsistent.

These findings “suggest that interventions to improve social support and integration for patients undergoing joint replacement warrant further exploration to establish whether they could lead to a clinically important improvement in outcomes,” write Wylde and team.

Measures of social support used in the studies included marital status, family and caregiver support, and living arrangements.

By Claire Barnard

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2019 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature group

Lancet Rheumatol 2019; doi:10.1016/S2665-9913(19)30050-5

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