Adherence to Stepped Care for Management of Musculoskeletal Knee Pain Leads to Lower Health Care Utilization, Costs, and Recurrence.
OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to report compliance with stepped care management of patellofemoral pain and determine whether adherence to stepped care results in decreased recurrence and lower health care utilization. METHODS: A total of 60,730 participants were included, using data from the Military Health System Data Repository, a large single-payer government health system. Outcomes included total knee-related care visits and costs, knee surgeries, opioid prescriptions, and 2-year recurrence. Stepped care was based on interventions delivered within the appropriate timing and in the appropriate order (low risk/cost before high risk/cost). RESULTS: A total of 54,460 (89.7%) participants received adherent Step 1 care, 10,964 (18.1%) received step 2, and 4168 (6.9%) received step 3. A total of 32.0% and 50.8%, respectively, of all patients in Step 2 and Step 3 care were adherent. Of the 2385 participants (3.9% of cohort) that received both Step 2 and Step 3 care, 24.8% of participants received adherent care. For participants receiving both Step 2 and Step 3 care, adherence resulted in cost savings (mean difference [MD] $1708; 95% confidence interval [CI]: $1241, 2175), fewer knee-related visits (MD 3.4; 95% CI 2.2, 4.7), fewer episodes of knee pain (MD 0.7; 95% CI 0.5, 0.8), fewer knee surgeries (adjusted odds ratio 0.4; 95% CI 0.3, 0.5), and fewer opioid prescriptions (adjusted odds ratio 0.6; 95% CI 0.5, 0.8). CONCLUSION: These findings demonstrate the value of following stepped care guidelines for pain management in patients with patellofemoral pain.
Garcia, AN; Cook, CE; Rhon, DI
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