Home and Community Care Digest
Methods: Patients who had undergone a hip and knee replacement within the preceding 3 to 12 months were surveyed for their views on maximum acceptable waiting times. At the decision date for surgery, surgeons' views on MAWT and the patient's urgency were assessed. Potential determinants of patient and surgeon MAWT were also examined.
Findings: Mean MAWT for patients and surgeons were 18 weeks and 17 weeks, respectively. The length of MAWT for surgeons generally increased as the level of urgency decreased. However, for patients, their MAWT was not related to urgency levels. Significant predictors of longer patient MAWT were gender, type of joint, a longer waiting time, and a perception of fairness in regard to waiting times. Type of joint, ability to walk without significant pain, and potential for progression of the disease were significant predictors of a MAWT for surgeons.
Conclusions: Knowing the patients' and surgeons' views on maximum acceptable waiting times is important in determining more acceptable waiting times. Furthermore, benchmarks based on levels of urgency should ensure a more transparent and fair process of access to care. Knowing the determinants of MAWT can improve the access to medical services. This study can assist policy-makers in the development of acceptable benchmarks for wait times.
Reference: Conner-Spady, B., Johnston, G., Sanmartin, C. Patient and Surgeon Views on Maximum Acceptable Waiting Times for Joint Replacement. Healthcare Policy. 3(2): 102-116.
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