Content analysis of consumer information about knee arthroscopy in Australia

Rachelle Buchbinder, Allison Bourne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Despite the availability of consistent guidelines recommending against arthroscopic treatment for people with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis, Australian data indicate continued use of this treatment modality. A paucity of easy to understand and reliable consumer information about knee arthroscopy may be one explanatory factor. The aim of this study was to determine whether consumer information about knee arthroscopy available in Australia is adequate to inform evidence-based decision-making for people with symptomatic osteoarthritis. Methods: We performed a content analysis of consumer information about knee arthroscopy for symptomatic osteoarthritis. Information sources were identified from the Australian Commission on Quality and Safety in Health Care and Internet searches conducted 20–28 May 2015. Search terms were ‘knee arthroscopy’, ‘knee pain’, ‘osteoarthritis knee’ and ‘meniscal tear’, and ‘orthopaedic surgeon’ linked to each Australian capital city. Two independent reviewers selected documents for inclusion and extracted data. Main outcomes were specific advice regarding use of arthroscopic treatment for people with knee osteoarthritis, mention of guidelines, and/or supporting evidence. Results: Ninety-three documents were analyzed (44 were a paragraph or less). Only eight made a clear recommendation against use of arthroscopy for all/most people with knee osteoarthritis. None included an explicit statement attributed to a guideline, while only six provided any research evidence to support their advice. Wikipedia provided the most valid information but it may be incomprehensible to the average reader. Conclusion: Currently available consumer information about knee arthroscopy in Australia may be inadequate to help people with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis make informed decisions about this treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-353
Number of pages8
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Volume88
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018

Keywords

  • arthroscopy
  • consumer behaviour
  • decision making
  • knee
  • knee joint
  • osteoarthritis

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