Retrospective, observational study.
To determine the association of patient socioeconomic disadvantage, insurance type, and other characteristics on presenting symptom severity in patients with isolated lumbar disc herniation.
Little is known of the impact of socioeconomic disadvantage and other patient characteristics on the level of self-reported symptom severity when patients first seek care for lumbar disc herniation.
Between April 2015 and December 2018, 734 patients newly presenting for isolated lumbar disc herniation who completed the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Physical Function (PF), Pain Interference (PI), and Depression CATs were identified. Socioeconomic disadvantage was determined using the Area Deprivation Index (ADI), a validated measure of socioeconomic disadvantage at the census block group level (0-100, 100 = highest socioeconomic disadvantage). Bivariate analyses were used. Multivariable linear regression was used to determine if there was an association between socioeconomic disadvantage, insurance type, and other patient factors and presenting patient-reported health status.
Significant differences in age, insurance type, self-reported race, marital status, and county of residence were appreciated when comparing patient characteristics by socioeconomic disadvantage levels (all comparisons, p < 0.01). Additionally, significant differences in age, insurance type, marital status, and county of residence were appreciated when comparing patient characteristics by self-reported race (all comparisons, p < 0.01). Being in the most socioeconomically disadvantaged cohort was associated with worse presenting PROMIS scores (PF: β = -3.27 (95% CI: -4.89 to -1.45), p < 0.001; PI: β = 3.20 (95% CI: 1.58 to 4.83), p < 0.001; Depression: β = 3.31 (95% CI: 1.08 to 5.55), p = 0.004).
The most socioeconomically disadvantaged patients with symptomatic lumbar disc herniations present with worse functional limitations, pain levels, and depressive symptoms as compared to patients from the least socioeconomically disadvantaged cohort when accounting for other key patient factors.