Use of Patient-reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) by Orthopedic Surgeons in Saudi Arabia


Introduction: There is increasing literature on the usefulness of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs), but far fewer studies to determine their use by orthopedic surgeons and the barriers they face in applying PROMs in their daily clinical activity.

Methodology: Cross-sectional study using a questionnaire that was distributed in both soft and hard copy formats to a sample of 262 orthopedic surgeons. Participants included orthopedic surgeons who are employed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Riyadh and the Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. The questionnaire was distributed through on-site visitations to orthopedic departments in MOH hospitals as well as through online correspondence by email, WhatsApp, and social media.

Result: The study sample included 262 orthopedic surgeons (13.7% females and 86.3% males). Surgeons aged < 34, 35-44, and 45-54 years old represented 28.66%, 38.9%, and 20.2% of the study sample, respectively. The majority of the included surgeons did not use PROMs (69.1%), and some (17.2%) used it for research purposes. Only 5% used it regularly in daily clinical work.

Conclusion: The clinical use of PROMs among orthopedic surgeons was negligible, even though an overwhelming majority were interested in using PROMs. The reasons provided included a lack of knowledge on how to use PROMs and the perception that it is too time-consuming to add to regular clinical routine. There should be more efforts towards training surgeons on how to use PROMs, whereas increasing compatibility with existing software tools used by MOH hospitals may help offset time-related reservations.