Clinical outcomes and predictors of patient satisfaction in displaced midshaft clavicle fractures in adults: Results from a retrospective multicentre study

Eric D. Tutuhatunewa*, Martin Stevens, Ron L. Diercks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The optimal treatment of displaced midshaft clavicle fractures (Robinson Type 2B1 & 2B2) in adults remains controversial. Little is known about patient satisfaction with treatment for this type of injury. The purpose of this study was to compare clinical outcomes and explore predictors of patient satisfaction after nonoperative and direct-operative treatment of displaced midshaft clavicle fractures in adults.

Methods: A retrospective multicentre study was conducted. Clinical data were retrieved from electronic patient charts. A questionnaire informing on current subjective function (QuickDASH), pain levels (VAS), health-related quality of life (Eq-5D-5L), impact on employment and satisfaction with treatment results was sent to all patients. Univariate and multivariate linear regression was performed to identify predictors of satisfaction.

Results: A total of 278 patients were identified (nonoperative n = 150, direct-operative n = 128). 67% of eligible patients returned the questionnaire. Median questionnaire follow-up was 2.1 years. No differences were found between groups for QuickDASH, Eq-5D-5L or pain VAS scores. Impaired union was observed in 13.2% of nonoperative cases vs. 2.3% in the direct-operative group. Patients in the nonoperative group could resume work after a median of 30.0 days, compared to 13.5 days in the direct-operative group. Patient satisfaction was higher in the direct-operative group, 8/10 vs. 7/10 for overall treatment results respectively. Patients' rating for the level of shared decision-making was the main predictor of overall satisfaction.

Conclusion: Direct-operative management led to higher patient satisfaction, despite similar long-term patient reported outcomes with nonoperative treatment. Patients' rating for the level of shared decision-making was the main predictor of overall satisfaction. This study highlights the need to enhance communication to facilitate shared decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2788-2792
Number of pages5
JournalInjury-International Journal of the Care of the Injured
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2017



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