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Findings highlight risk factors for loss to follow-up after orthopedic trauma

Male gender, smoking, lack of commercial health insurance and illicit drug abuse appear to be risk factors for noncompliance with postoperative follow-up after orthopedic trauma, according to results of a retrospective review.

Researchers recorded data of 307 patients with an average age of 40 years who underwent surgical treatment of orthopedic injuries at a level 1 academic trauma center. Following hospital discharge, all patients were instructed to follow up at the orthopedic trauma clinic. The main outcome measure of the study was noncompliance with follow-up appointments during a period of 6 months after injury.

Results showed 215 patients were noncompliant with at least one of their follow-up appointments at 2 weeks, 6 weeks, 12 weeks or 6 months. According to univariate analysis, male gender, lack of commercial insurance, smoker, illicit drug use and isolated orthopedic injuries showed a statistically significant difference.

In a logistic regression analysis, researchers found statistically significant predictors for noncompliance with the 6-month follow-up visit included male gender, uninsured or government insurance, and smoking status. For secondary outcome measures, the univariate analysis showed insurance status, lack of permanent address, smoking and illicit drug use were significantly different between compliant and noncompliant patients. – by Casey Tingle

Disclosures: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.

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