Do Patients Unconsciously Associate Suggestions for More-invasive Treatment with Better Care?

Joost T.P. Kortlever, Janna S.E. Ottenhoff, Thi T.H. Tran, David Ring, Gregg A. Vagner, Matthew Driscoll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

BackgroundIt seems common for patients to conceive of care in physical terms, such as medications, injections, and procedures rather than advice and support. Clinicians often encounter patients who seem to prefer more testing or invasive treatments than expertise supports. We wanted to determine whether patients unconsciously associate suggestions for invasive treatments with better care.Questions/purposes(1) Do patients have (A) an implicit preference and (B) an expressed preference for a physical intervention (such as a pill, an injection, or surgery) over supportive care (such as reassurance and education)? (2) What factors are independently associated with both an implicit and an expressed preference for a physical intervention over supportive care? (3) Is there a relationship between a patient's implicit preference toward or away from a physical intervention and his/her expressed preference on that subject?MethodsIn this study, we approached 129 new patients in a large urban area visiting one of 13 participating surgeons divided among six upper and lower extremity specialist offices. After excluding four patients based on our exclusion criteria, 125 patients (97%) completed a survey of demographics and their expressed preference about receiving either physical treatment or support. Treatment was defined as any surgery, procedure, injection, or medication; support was defined as reassurance, conversation, and education, but no physical treatment. Patients then completed the Implicit Association Test (IAT) to evaluate implicit preferences toward treatment or support. Although other IATs have been validated in numerous studies, the IAT used in this study was specifically made for this study. Scores (D scores) range from-2 to 2, where 0 indicates no implicit preference, positive scores indicate a preference toward receiving a physical treatment is good care, and negative scores indicate a preference toward receiving supportive care is good care. According to the original IAT, break points for a slight (± 0.15 to 0.35), moderate (± 0.35 to 0.65), and strong preference (± 0.65 to 2) were selected conservatively according to psychological conventions for effect size. Patients' mean age was 50 ± 15 years (range, 18-79 years) and 56 (45%) were men. The patients had a broad spectrum of upper and lower extremity musculoskeletal conditions, ranging from trigger finger to patellofemoral syndrome.ResultsWe found a slight implicit association of good care with support (D =-0.17 ± 0.62; range,-2 to 1.2) and an expressed preference for physical treatment (mean score = 0.63 ± 2.0; range,-3 to 3). Patients who received both physical and supportive treatment had greater implicit preference for good care, meaning supportive care, than patients receiving physical care alone (β =-0.42; 95% CI,-0.73 to-0.11; p = 0.008; semipartial R2 = 0.04; adjusted R2 full model = 0.13). Gender was independently associated with a greater expressed preference for physical treatment, with men expressing this preference more than women (β = 1.0; 95% CI, 0.31-1.7; p = 0.005; semipartial R2 = 0.06; adjusted R2 full model = 0.08); receiving supportive treatment was independently associated with more expressed preference for support (β =-0.98; 95% CI,-1.7 to-0.23; p = 0.011; semipartial R2 = 0.05). An expressed preference for treatment was not associated with implicit preference (β = 0.01; 95% CI,-0.04 to 0.06; p = 0.721).ConclusionsAlthough surgeons may sometimes feel pressured toward physical treatments, based on our results and cutoff values, the average patient with upper or lower extremity symptoms has a slight implicit preference for supportive treatment and would likely be receptive.Level of EvidenceLevel II, prognostic study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)514-522
Number of pages9
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
Volume477
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

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Therapeutics
Lower Extremity
Injections
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Physical Education and Training
Patient Preference
Fingers
Patient Care
Demography
Psychology
Education
Surgeons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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Do Patients Unconsciously Associate Suggestions for More-invasive Treatment with Better Care? / Kortlever, Joost T.P.; Ottenhoff, Janna S.E.; Tran, Thi T.H.; Ring, David; Vagner, Gregg A.; Driscoll, Matthew.

In: Clinical orthopaedics and related research, Vol. 477, No. 3, 01.03.2019, p. 514-522.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kortlever, Joost T.P. ; Ottenhoff, Janna S.E. ; Tran, Thi T.H. ; Ring, David ; Vagner, Gregg A. ; Driscoll, Matthew. / Do Patients Unconsciously Associate Suggestions for More-invasive Treatment with Better Care?. In: Clinical orthopaedics and related research. 2019 ; Vol. 477, No. 3. pp. 514-522.
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abstract = "BackgroundIt seems common for patients to conceive of care in physical terms, such as medications, injections, and procedures rather than advice and support. Clinicians often encounter patients who seem to prefer more testing or invasive treatments than expertise supports. We wanted to determine whether patients unconsciously associate suggestions for invasive treatments with better care.Questions/purposes(1) Do patients have (A) an implicit preference and (B) an expressed preference for a physical intervention (such as a pill, an injection, or surgery) over supportive care (such as reassurance and education)? (2) What factors are independently associated with both an implicit and an expressed preference for a physical intervention over supportive care? (3) Is there a relationship between a patient's implicit preference toward or away from a physical intervention and his/her expressed preference on that subject?MethodsIn this study, we approached 129 new patients in a large urban area visiting one of 13 participating surgeons divided among six upper and lower extremity specialist offices. After excluding four patients based on our exclusion criteria, 125 patients (97{\%}) completed a survey of demographics and their expressed preference about receiving either physical treatment or support. Treatment was defined as any surgery, procedure, injection, or medication; support was defined as reassurance, conversation, and education, but no physical treatment. Patients then completed the Implicit Association Test (IAT) to evaluate implicit preferences toward treatment or support. Although other IATs have been validated in numerous studies, the IAT used in this study was specifically made for this study. Scores (D scores) range from-2 to 2, where 0 indicates no implicit preference, positive scores indicate a preference toward receiving a physical treatment is good care, and negative scores indicate a preference toward receiving supportive care is good care. According to the original IAT, break points for a slight (± 0.15 to 0.35), moderate (± 0.35 to 0.65), and strong preference (± 0.65 to 2) were selected conservatively according to psychological conventions for effect size. Patients' mean age was 50 ± 15 years (range, 18-79 years) and 56 (45{\%}) were men. The patients had a broad spectrum of upper and lower extremity musculoskeletal conditions, ranging from trigger finger to patellofemoral syndrome.ResultsWe found a slight implicit association of good care with support (D =-0.17 ± 0.62; range,-2 to 1.2) and an expressed preference for physical treatment (mean score = 0.63 ± 2.0; range,-3 to 3). Patients who received both physical and supportive treatment had greater implicit preference for good care, meaning supportive care, than patients receiving physical care alone (β =-0.42; 95{\%} CI,-0.73 to-0.11; p = 0.008; semipartial R2 = 0.04; adjusted R2 full model = 0.13). Gender was independently associated with a greater expressed preference for physical treatment, with men expressing this preference more than women (β = 1.0; 95{\%} CI, 0.31-1.7; p = 0.005; semipartial R2 = 0.06; adjusted R2 full model = 0.08); receiving supportive treatment was independently associated with more expressed preference for support (β =-0.98; 95{\%} CI,-1.7 to-0.23; p = 0.011; semipartial R2 = 0.05). An expressed preference for treatment was not associated with implicit preference (β = 0.01; 95{\%} CI,-0.04 to 0.06; p = 0.721).ConclusionsAlthough surgeons may sometimes feel pressured toward physical treatments, based on our results and cutoff values, the average patient with upper or lower extremity symptoms has a slight implicit preference for supportive treatment and would likely be receptive.Level of EvidenceLevel II, prognostic study.",
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T1 - Do Patients Unconsciously Associate Suggestions for More-invasive Treatment with Better Care?

AU - Kortlever, Joost T.P.

AU - Ottenhoff, Janna S.E.

AU - Tran, Thi T.H.

AU - Ring, David

AU - Vagner, Gregg A.

AU - Driscoll, Matthew

PY - 2019/3/1

Y1 - 2019/3/1

N2 - BackgroundIt seems common for patients to conceive of care in physical terms, such as medications, injections, and procedures rather than advice and support. Clinicians often encounter patients who seem to prefer more testing or invasive treatments than expertise supports. We wanted to determine whether patients unconsciously associate suggestions for invasive treatments with better care.Questions/purposes(1) Do patients have (A) an implicit preference and (B) an expressed preference for a physical intervention (such as a pill, an injection, or surgery) over supportive care (such as reassurance and education)? (2) What factors are independently associated with both an implicit and an expressed preference for a physical intervention over supportive care? (3) Is there a relationship between a patient's implicit preference toward or away from a physical intervention and his/her expressed preference on that subject?MethodsIn this study, we approached 129 new patients in a large urban area visiting one of 13 participating surgeons divided among six upper and lower extremity specialist offices. After excluding four patients based on our exclusion criteria, 125 patients (97%) completed a survey of demographics and their expressed preference about receiving either physical treatment or support. Treatment was defined as any surgery, procedure, injection, or medication; support was defined as reassurance, conversation, and education, but no physical treatment. Patients then completed the Implicit Association Test (IAT) to evaluate implicit preferences toward treatment or support. Although other IATs have been validated in numerous studies, the IAT used in this study was specifically made for this study. Scores (D scores) range from-2 to 2, where 0 indicates no implicit preference, positive scores indicate a preference toward receiving a physical treatment is good care, and negative scores indicate a preference toward receiving supportive care is good care. According to the original IAT, break points for a slight (± 0.15 to 0.35), moderate (± 0.35 to 0.65), and strong preference (± 0.65 to 2) were selected conservatively according to psychological conventions for effect size. Patients' mean age was 50 ± 15 years (range, 18-79 years) and 56 (45%) were men. The patients had a broad spectrum of upper and lower extremity musculoskeletal conditions, ranging from trigger finger to patellofemoral syndrome.ResultsWe found a slight implicit association of good care with support (D =-0.17 ± 0.62; range,-2 to 1.2) and an expressed preference for physical treatment (mean score = 0.63 ± 2.0; range,-3 to 3). Patients who received both physical and supportive treatment had greater implicit preference for good care, meaning supportive care, than patients receiving physical care alone (β =-0.42; 95% CI,-0.73 to-0.11; p = 0.008; semipartial R2 = 0.04; adjusted R2 full model = 0.13). Gender was independently associated with a greater expressed preference for physical treatment, with men expressing this preference more than women (β = 1.0; 95% CI, 0.31-1.7; p = 0.005; semipartial R2 = 0.06; adjusted R2 full model = 0.08); receiving supportive treatment was independently associated with more expressed preference for support (β =-0.98; 95% CI,-1.7 to-0.23; p = 0.011; semipartial R2 = 0.05). An expressed preference for treatment was not associated with implicit preference (β = 0.01; 95% CI,-0.04 to 0.06; p = 0.721).ConclusionsAlthough surgeons may sometimes feel pressured toward physical treatments, based on our results and cutoff values, the average patient with upper or lower extremity symptoms has a slight implicit preference for supportive treatment and would likely be receptive.Level of EvidenceLevel II, prognostic study.

AB - BackgroundIt seems common for patients to conceive of care in physical terms, such as medications, injections, and procedures rather than advice and support. Clinicians often encounter patients who seem to prefer more testing or invasive treatments than expertise supports. We wanted to determine whether patients unconsciously associate suggestions for invasive treatments with better care.Questions/purposes(1) Do patients have (A) an implicit preference and (B) an expressed preference for a physical intervention (such as a pill, an injection, or surgery) over supportive care (such as reassurance and education)? (2) What factors are independently associated with both an implicit and an expressed preference for a physical intervention over supportive care? (3) Is there a relationship between a patient's implicit preference toward or away from a physical intervention and his/her expressed preference on that subject?MethodsIn this study, we approached 129 new patients in a large urban area visiting one of 13 participating surgeons divided among six upper and lower extremity specialist offices. After excluding four patients based on our exclusion criteria, 125 patients (97%) completed a survey of demographics and their expressed preference about receiving either physical treatment or support. Treatment was defined as any surgery, procedure, injection, or medication; support was defined as reassurance, conversation, and education, but no physical treatment. Patients then completed the Implicit Association Test (IAT) to evaluate implicit preferences toward treatment or support. Although other IATs have been validated in numerous studies, the IAT used in this study was specifically made for this study. Scores (D scores) range from-2 to 2, where 0 indicates no implicit preference, positive scores indicate a preference toward receiving a physical treatment is good care, and negative scores indicate a preference toward receiving supportive care is good care. According to the original IAT, break points for a slight (± 0.15 to 0.35), moderate (± 0.35 to 0.65), and strong preference (± 0.65 to 2) were selected conservatively according to psychological conventions for effect size. Patients' mean age was 50 ± 15 years (range, 18-79 years) and 56 (45%) were men. The patients had a broad spectrum of upper and lower extremity musculoskeletal conditions, ranging from trigger finger to patellofemoral syndrome.ResultsWe found a slight implicit association of good care with support (D =-0.17 ± 0.62; range,-2 to 1.2) and an expressed preference for physical treatment (mean score = 0.63 ± 2.0; range,-3 to 3). Patients who received both physical and supportive treatment had greater implicit preference for good care, meaning supportive care, than patients receiving physical care alone (β =-0.42; 95% CI,-0.73 to-0.11; p = 0.008; semipartial R2 = 0.04; adjusted R2 full model = 0.13). Gender was independently associated with a greater expressed preference for physical treatment, with men expressing this preference more than women (β = 1.0; 95% CI, 0.31-1.7; p = 0.005; semipartial R2 = 0.06; adjusted R2 full model = 0.08); receiving supportive treatment was independently associated with more expressed preference for support (β =-0.98; 95% CI,-1.7 to-0.23; p = 0.011; semipartial R2 = 0.05). An expressed preference for treatment was not associated with implicit preference (β = 0.01; 95% CI,-0.04 to 0.06; p = 0.721).ConclusionsAlthough surgeons may sometimes feel pressured toward physical treatments, based on our results and cutoff values, the average patient with upper or lower extremity symptoms has a slight implicit preference for supportive treatment and would likely be receptive.Level of EvidenceLevel II, prognostic study.

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