Study: Decision Aids May Help Lower Knee, Hip Surgery Rates and Costs

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<p>Decision aids may help patients with knee and hip osteoarthritis make more informed, cost-effective treatment choices, according to new <a href="/publications/journal-article/2012/sep/introducing-decision-aids-group-health-was-linked-sharply">Commonwealth Fund–supported research</a> published in <em>Health Affairs</em>. In the observational study—among the first to document the effect of decision aids implemented throughout a large health system—patients who received balanced, evidence-based information on the risks and benefits of orthopedic procedures had 26 percent fewer hip replacement surgeries and 38 percent fewer knee replacement surgeries, and 12 to 21 percent lower costs over a six-month period.</p><p>The study was led by David Arterburn, M.D., M.P.H., of the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle.</p>
<p>In the past, decision aids were shown to increase patients' knowledge and improve their participation in care choices, but little was known about whether these aids influence surgical rates or costs of care. Read more on <a href="/publications/journal-article/2012/sep/introducing-decision-aids-group-health-was-linked-sharply"></a>.</p>