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Clinically Depressed Patients Having Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Show Improved but Inferior Rate of Achieving Minimum Clinically Important Difference for Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System Compared With Situationally Depressed or Nondepressed Patients

      Purpose

      To determine whether the preoperative diagnosis of depression predicted worse postoperative outcomes, including physical therapy (PT) compliance, return-to-sport, and patient-reported outcomes using the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.

      Methods

      A multisurgeon series of consecutive patients who had undergone ACL reconstruction with minimum 2-year follow-up were included. Chart review was conducted to determine depression diagnosis status, demographic data, rehabilitation PT compliance, return to sports, and patient-reported outcome data using PROMIS. Patients who met the PROMIS threshold for mild depression but did not carry a clinical diagnosis of depression were classified as “situationally depressed.”

      Results

      Ninety-five of 115 consecutive patients (81%) met inclusion criteria with an average follow-up of 34 ± 1.9 months. Fourteen patients (15%) had a preoperative diagnosis of depression, whereas 21 (22%) were considered situationally depressed. Clinically depressed patients had a greater rate of PT noncompliance (33.2% ± 17.6% vs 21.9% ± 12.6%; P = .02) and a lower postoperative PROMIS Physical Function (50.8 ± 7.7 vs 57.8 ± 11.0; P = .03 compared with patients without depression. Situationally depressed patients had lower preoperative physical function (35.4 vs 42.5; P = .04) with no differences in postoperative outcomes scores compared to the non-depressed cohort.19/21 (90.5%) of situationally depressed patients had postoperative resolution of their depressive symptoms.

      Conclusions

      Situationally depressed patients without a clinical diagnosis of depression can expect significant improvements in both pain and function, as well as a resolution of their depressed mood based on PROMIS scores as they progress through recovery after ACL reconstruction. Clinically depressed patients also experience significant improvements; however, their rate of achieving the minimum clinically important difference for PROMIS outcomes may be less than their nondepressed or situationally depressed counterparts.

      Level of Evidence

      III, prognostic comparative trial.
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