Self-Rated Health Predicts Outcomes of Joint Replacement

Health outcomes after surgery predicted by mental well-being and self-rated health

THURSDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Mental well-being and self-rated health (SRH) predict outcomes of total joint replacements, more than patients' prior physical health, according to a study published online March 18 in Arthritis Care & Research.

Anthony V. Perruccio, Ph.D., of the Toronto Western Research Institute, and colleagues investigated how mental well-being, physical and social health, and SRH affected outcomes of joint replacement surgeries. A total of 449 patients who underwent either total knee or hip replacement for osteoarthritis were evaluated before surgery and at three and six months after surgery in the physical, mental, and social health dimensions. The team examined whether SRH predicted future health status, and considered the inter-relationship between the health dimensions.

The researchers found that past health dimension status was indicative of future scores, and that past SRH significantly predicted future scores for all three health dimensions. Worse preoperative SRH predicted less improvement after surgery. Mental health was the only health dimension to predict SRH. Physical and social health were inter-related and mediated their effect on SRH through mental well-being.

"While physical health has always been perceived as one of the major determinants of SRH, our results point to the importance of mental well-being in understanding the relationship between physical health and SRH," the authors write. "Since SRH significantly predicted total joint replacement outcomes, this study suggests that the exclusive focus on any one health dimension may lead to missed opportunities for predicting and improving outcomes following surgery."

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