Background: We conducted a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) delivered via a mobile phone messaging robot to patients who had their total hip arthroplasty or total knee arthroplasty procedures postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Ninety patients scheduled for total hip arthroplasty or total knee arthroplasty who experienced surgical delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic were randomized to the ACT group, receiving 14 days of twice daily automated mobile phone messages, or the control group, who received no messages. Minimal clinically important differences (MCIDs) in preintervention and postintervention patient-reported outcome measures were utilized to evaluate the intervention. Results: Thirty-eight percent of ACT group participants improved and achieved MCID on the Patient-Reported Outcome Measure Information System Physical Health compared to 17.5% in the control group (P = .038; number needed to treat [NNT] 5). For the joint-specific Hip Disability and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score Joint Replacement and Knee Disability and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score Joint Replacement (KOOS JR), 24% of the ACT group achieved MCID compared to 2.5% in the control group (P = .004; NNT 5). An improvement in the KOOS JR was found in 29% of the ACT group compared to 4.2% in the control group (P = .028; NNT 5). Fourteen percent of the ACT group participants experienced a clinical important decline in the KOOS JR compared to 41.7% in the control group (P = .027; NNT 4). Conclusion: A psychological intervention delivered via a text messaging robot improved physical function and prevented decline in patient-reported outcome measures in patients who experienced an unexpected surgical delay during the COVID-19 pandemic. Level of Evidence: 1.
- hip arthritis
- text messaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine