Economic evaluation of web-based compared with in-person follow-up after total joint arthroplasty

Jacquelyn Marsh, Jeffrey S Hoch, Dianne Bryant, Steven J. MacDonald, Douglas Naudie, Richard McCalden, James Howard, Robert Bourne, James McAuley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background: We previously demonstrated the feasibility and clinical effectiveness of a web-based assessment following total hip or total knee arthroplasty. The purpose of the present study was to conduct an economic evaluation to compare a web-based assessment with in-person follow-up.

Methods: Patients who had undergone total joint arthroplasty at least twelve months previously were randomized to complete a web-based follow-up or visit the clinic for the usual follow-up. We recorded travel costs and time associated with each option. We followed patients for one year after the web-based or in-person follow-up evaluation and documented any resource use related to the joint arthroplasty. We conducted cost analyses from the health-care payer (Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care) and societal perspectives. All costs are presented in 2012 Canadian dollars.

Results: A total of 229 patients (118 in the web-based group, 111 in the usual-care group) completed the study. The mean cost of the assessment from the societal perspective was $98 per patient for the web-based assessment and $162 per patient for the usual method of in-person follow-up. The cost for the web-based assessment was significantly lower from the societal perspective (mean difference, $264; 95% confidence interval [CI], $279 to $248; p < 0.01) and also from the health-care payer perspective (mean difference, $227; 95% CI, $229 to $225; p < 0.01).

Conclusions: The web-based follow-up assessment had a lower cost per patient compared with in-person follow-up from both societal and health-care payer perspectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1910-1916
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - American Volume
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 19 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Medicine(all)
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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