What is the best outcome measure – proven occlusion of vein or patient satisfaction?
I am always fascinated by the number of doctors who are now quoting “patient satisfaction” as the best outcome when assessing treatments.
I think it is probably a timing issue. If you are measuring patient satisfaction in the first three months, they are usually tell you whether the doctor was nice, the surroundings were nice and whether they had a good experience. They will not view to tell you whether they had a good job done as this is too early to see recurrence.
Therefore I would only really accept patient satisfaction as the best outcome after two years, when they have had a chance to see if the treatment really worked.
The trend towards asking patients their satisfaction level in the early days post-surgery seems to stem from those using foam sclerotherapy and wanting to prove patient were happy, as the occlusion rate were so poor.
It will be interesting to see the results of the venous Registry over time and see how patient satisfaction changes dependent on the success of the underlying ablation!
I would be interested in other views.