News in brief: Sociodemographic factors predict decline in RA function; Call to optimise care before hip arthroplasty; Most physicians not active on social media

Sociodemographic factors predict decline in RA function 

Age at diagnosis, gender and ethnicity are associated with worse functional outcomes in RA over and above comorbidities, research shows.

The study involved 2,701 RA  patients from two UK cohorts; 63% and 30% of whom had five-year and 10-year follow-data respectively. In multivariable analysis, no association was found between scores on the Rheumatic Diseases Comorbidity Index (RDCI) and health assessment questionnaire (HAQ) ≥1.5 at either time point.

However sociodemographic factors such as increased age at disease onset, female gender, minority ethnicity were associated with higher odds of HAQ≥1.5 at five and 10 years, with worse deprivation additionally associated with HAQ≥1.5 at 10 years (OR 0.79, 95% CI 0.69 to 0.90).

According to the study authors, their findings highlight the importance of identifying patients at increased risk of functional disability at initial review in order to enable targeted management strategies.

Call to optimise care before hip arthroplasty

Postoperative complications are the only significant determinant of patient dissatisfaction following total hip arthroplasty.

A study of 2,096 patients in the Australian Arthroplasty Clinical Outcomes Registry National (ACORN) database between 2014 and 2016 showed that patient satisfaction was high. Six months post-procedure, an impressive 95.4% of patients reported excellent, very good or good outcomes.

“Complications after discharge” was identified as the only variable significantly associated with dissatisfaction (OR 3.8-4.8). Complications included DVT, PE and surgical site infections, though no particular type was associated with dissatisfaction.

“Multiple studies have demonstrated a link between modifiable comorbidities and complications after THA surgery.”

“It therefore follows that an attempt should always be made to optimise patients preoperatively, including weight loss, cardiorespiratory disease, peripheral vascular disease, diabetic control, smoking cessation, anaemia, opioid use, and malnutrition,” the study said.

ANZ Journal of Surgery

Physicians not active social media

While most physicians (70%) have some kind of social media presence the vast majority are not active, a study of 650 randomly selected doctors at the top 10 US hospitals has found.

Physicians were most likely to have a social media profile on LinkedIn (45%), followed by Facebook (23%) and Twitter 19%) and 7% had a blog or personal webpage.

However, almost 90% had no engagement on social media in recent months in terms of posts or interactions with other users, the survey found.

Physicians had a median of 99 followers on Twitter, 301 on Facebook and 161 followers on LinkedIn. Female physicians were more likely than males to have a social media presence, according to the findings published in JAMA Network Open..

The survey also showed that surgeons had higher number of followers than physicians and were also three times more likely to be active on social media.

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