Our project studied where there were differences in the minimal important difference (MIDs) among patient groups for elective surgeries.
When patients and doctors are choosing among treatments, one aspect they consider is the patient’s perceptions of change. The “minimal important difference” (MID) is the smallest gain in health where the patient is going to report the intervention was effective. To estimate a treatment’s MID, we measure, from each patient:
When choosing among treatments, or choosing whether to continue with or stop taking a treatment, patients and their doctors may consider the MID as an important threshold to experience important in health-related quality of life. Researchers also use the MID to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions.
The MID is a single value and does not differ by the characteristics of the patient. This study sought to measure where people with different demographics (i.e., age, sex, health status) would have different MID values.
We studied two treatments for which patient-reported outcome data was available: gallbladder removal (“Laparoscopic cholecystectomy”), and ankle replacement (“arthrodesis”).
From our study on gallbladder removal, we found:
From our study on ankle replacement, we found:
Sutherland, J.M., Albanese, C.M., Crump, T. et al. The minimally important difference of the Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index for symptomatic gallstone surgery. Surg Endosc (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-020-08205-z
Sutherland, J.M., Albanese, C.M., Wing, K. et al. Effect of Patient Demographics on Minimally Important Difference of Ankle Osteoarthritis Scale Among End-Stage Ankle Arthritis Patients. Foot & Ankle International. 2021;42(5):624-632. doi:10.1177/1071100720977842