Patient satisfaction in treatment of non-complex fractures and dislocations in general practice in the Netherlands: prospective cohort study protocol

Tjitte Verbeek, Hans Arentsen, Evert Jan Breet, Machiel M Kuipers, Pieter H W Lubbert, Huibert Burger

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INTRODUCTION: Diagnosis and treatment of fractures and dislocations are mostly performed in hospital settings. However, equal care for patients with non--complex fractures or dislocations ('minor trauma care') may be provided in general practice. While substitution of care from secondary to primary care settings is stimulated by governments and insurers, it is unknown what the effects are on patient satisfaction level. Therefore, our primary objective is to determine the effect of minor trauma care delivered in a general practice as compared with a hospital on patient satisfaction. Secondary objectives are to assess the effects on treatment outcomes, cost-effectiveness and time consumption.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: In a prospective cohort study, we will include 200 patients aged 12 and over with an X-ray confirmed diagnosis of a non--complex fracture or dislocation out of whom 100 treated in a general practice and 100 in a secondary care hospital, both located in the Netherlands. All treatment procedures and follow-up will be done in accordance to the hospital's standards of trauma care. Study assessments will be performed pre-treatment, and 1, 6 and 12 weeks after treatment. Data collected include demographics, patient satisfaction and patient-reported outcomes including physical functioning, complications, pain scores and treatment-related costs. The primary outcome patient satisfaction measured at 12 weeks will be compared between the settings and additionally multivariable regression will be performed to assess potential confounding effects of unbalanced prognostic factors. Treatment outcomes and time consumption will be analysed following the same approach while cost-effectiveness will be assessed using an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio. Subsequently, results will be discussed using focus groups consisting of patients (n=15) and healthcare providers.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The Medical Ethics Committee from the University Medical Center Groningen reviewed this study protocol and granted exemption from ethical approval (METc UMCG 2017/277). Study results will be presented at (inter)national conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere025046
Number of pages7
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2019



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