Mobile Apps Improve Patient Satisfaction and Compliance After Total Joint Arthroplasty

Use of a mobile application led to higher patient satisfaction and better compliance with pre- and postoperative protocols in patients undergoing total joint arthroplasty (TJA) of the hip or knee, compared with standard of care. This is according to a systematic review and meta-analysis presented at the AAOS 2021 Annual Meeting by Rubén Monárrez, MD, from the Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore.

To understand the impact of mobile application use on TJA patient experiences, the researchers scanned Embase, Medline, and Web of Science databases for studies that compared satisfaction, compliance with pre- and postoperative protocols, and procedure-associated complications with standard care or the use of patient-facing mobile applications.

The mobile apps included performed a variety of functions, such as providing real-time reminders about postoperative protocols, educational information, or direct connections with healthcare providers.

The researchers identified 12 studies, comprising 9,521 patients with an average age of 60 years. Six studies reported that mobile applications improved patient experiences after TJA, with an effect size of 1.64. These improvements were driven largely by improvements in communication, even among this largely older patient population, the authors noted.

Compliance also significantly improved in six studies, with a pooled odds ratio for adherence of 4.57 with apps compared with standard care. In addition, two studies found that use of a mobile application was associated with a lower incidence of unscheduled office or emergency department visits.