Patients undergoing knee surgery provided accurate ratings of preoperative quality of life and function 2 weeks after surgery
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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate patients' ability to recall their preoperative self-reported quality of life, function, and general health 2 weeks postoperatively. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: We randomized consecutive patients undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery to group I (assessments at 4 weeks preoperatively, on the day of surgery, and 2 weeks and 12 months postoperatively) or group II (assessments at 2 weeks and 12 months postoperatively). At each visit patients completed disease-specific, knee-specific, and generic health rating scales. At a median of 2 weeks postoperative (range, 0.6 to 14 weeks), patients completed questionnaires according to their recollection of their health 2 weeks before surgery. RESULTS: Agreement between actual and recalled data was excellent for disease-specific (ICC(WOMET)=0.88 (95% CI 0.82-0.91), ICC(ACL-QOL)=0.86 (95% CI 0.75-0.91)), knee-specific (ICC(IKDC)=0.92 (95% CI 0.90-0.94), ICC(KOOS)=0.93 (95% CI 0.91 to 0.95), and general physical health (ICC(SF-36(PCS))=0.81 (95% CI 0.75-0.86)) instruments. Agreement for general mental health was moderate (ICC(SF-36(MCS))=0.67 (95% CI 0.58-0.75). Greater error associated with recalled ratings contributed to small increases in sample size requirements or small decreases in power to detect differences between groups. CONCLUSION: Patients recalled their preoperative quality of life, function, and general health at 2 weeks postoperative with sufficiently high accuracy to warrant substituting prospectively collected baseline data with recalled ratings.
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