Race and Socioeconomic Status Are Associated With Inferior Patient-Reported Outcome Measures Following Rotator Cuff Repair

Published:October 05, 2022DOI:


      To investigate the impact social determinants of health (SDOH) have on National Institutes of Health Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) computer adaptive test scores and postoperative health care use in patients who undergo rotator cuff repair (RCR).


      All patients who underwent RCR surgery by 3 shoulder and/or sports medicine fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeons between July 2017 and January 2020 were included. The electronic medical record (EMR) was used to identify SDOH for each patient. PROMIS computer adaptive test measures of Upper Extremity function, Pain Interference, and Depression were completed preoperatively and postoperatively (6 months and 1 year). Postoperative health care use (clinical visits, virtual encounters, imaging encounters, and physical therapy visits) were recorded as well. Univariate associations, multiple linear regressions, and Wilcoxon rank-sum tests were used to analyze mean differences between patient groups based on SDOH.


      Three hundred thirty-eight patients who underwent RCR were included. Patients who were Black, in lower median household income quartiles, had public insurance, and female reported lower PROMIS scores compared with their counterparts. Smokers and White patients attended fewer postoperative office visits whereas Black patients had more physical therapy and nonvisit encounters compared with their respective counterparts.


      Black race and lower socioeconomic status are associated with worse function and pain outcomes post-RCR compared with White race. Similarly, Black race and positive smoking status are associated with differential use of health care following RCR. Further attention may be required for these patients to address health care disparities.

      Level of Evidence

      III, retrospective cohort study.
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