The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 35, Issue 2, 335 - 339

Patient-Reported Outcome Measures are not a Valid Proxy for Patient Satisfaction in Total Joint Arthroplasty

Halawi, Mohamad J. et al.
Hip Knee


Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are increasingly used as quality benchmarks in total joint arthroplasty. The objective of this study is to investigate whether PROMs correlate with patient satisfaction, which is arguably the most important and desired outcome.


Our institutional joint database was queried for patients who underwent primary, elective, unilateral total joint arthroplasty. Eligible patients were asked to complete a satisfaction survey at final follow-up. Correlation coefficients ( R) were calculated to quantify the relationship between patient satisfaction and prospectively collected PROMs. We explored a wide range of PROMs including Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), Short Form-12, Oxford Hip Score, Knee Society Clinical Rating Score (KSCRS), Single Assessment Numerical Evaluation, and University of California Los Angeles activity level rating.


In general, there was only weak to moderate correlation between patient satisfaction and PROMs. Querying the absolute postoperative scores had higher correlation with patient satisfaction compared to either preoperative scores or net changes in scores. The correlation was higher with disease-specific PROMs (WOMAC, Oxford Hip Score, KSCRS) compared to general health (Short Form-12), activity level (University of California Los Angeles activity level rating), or perception of normalcy (Single Assessment Numerical Evaluation). Within disease-specific PROMs, the pain domain consistently carried the highest correlation with patient satisfaction (WOMAC pain subscale, R = 0.45, P < .001; KSCRS pain subscale, R = 0.49, P < .001).


There is only weak to moderate correlation between PROMs and patient satisfaction. PROMs alone are not the optimal way to evaluate patient satisfaction. We recommend directly querying patients about satisfaction and using shorter PROMs, particularly disease-specific PROMs that assess pain perception to better gauge patient satisfaction.

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