Exploring patient satisfaction after operative and nonoperative treatment for midshaft clavicle fractures: a focus group analysis

Eric D Tutuhatunewa*, Martin Stevens, Olivier C Dams, Jeffrey van Son, Rebecca D Louhanepessy, Paul F M Krabbe, Maarten J Postma, Ron L Diercks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background: There is no consensus on the optimal treatment for displaced midshaft clavicle fractures. Several studies indicate superior patient satisfaction in favour of operative reconstruction. It is unknown what drives superior satisfaction in this treatment group. The aim of this study was to explore patient satisfaction and identify contributors to patient satisfaction after operative and nonoperative treatment for displaced midshaft clavicle fractures in adults using a focus group approach. Methods: Four face-to-face and two web-based focus groups were hosted. A total of 24 participants who were treated nonoperatively (n = 14) or operatively (n = 10) agreed to participate. Participants were selected using purposive sampling, ensuring variation in gender, age, treatment complications and outcomes. A question script was developed to systematically explore patient expectations, attitudes and satisfaction with different dimensions of care. All focus groups were voice-recorded and transcribed at verbatim. Thematic analysis was conducted on all face-to-face and web-based transcripts. Results: The main emerging themes across treatment groups were; need for more information, functional recovery, speed of recovery and patient-doctor interaction. There was no difference in themes observed between operative and nonoperative focus groups. The lack of information was the most important complaint in dissatisfied patients. Conclusion: Our study shows that informing patients about their injury, treatment options and expectations for recovery is paramount for overall patient satisfaction after treatment for a displaced midshaft clavicle fracture. Level of evidence: Level III, focus group study.

Original languageEnglish
Article number560
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalBmc Musculoskeletal Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18-Aug-2020


  • Patient satisfaction
  • Focus group
  • Qualitative research
  • Patient experience
  • Clavicle fracture
  • Shoulder
  • CARE

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