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Keywords:

  • Arthritis;
  • Arthroplasty;
  • Health survey;
  • Health services needs and demands;
  • Minority group

Abstract

Objective

To determine whether social network experience and perceptions of benefit of arthritis treatments influence the decision to seek diagnosis and treatment.

Methods

A population-based telephone survey of 515 black and 455 white Medicare beneficiaries was conducted. Validated questionnaires adapted for use in a telephone interview were used to identify people with self-reported symptoms of hip or knee pain. Treatment history for arthritis-related pain and perceptions of benefit of treatment were also assessed.

Results

Forty-two percent of blacks and 31% of whites reported hip or knee pain. Forty-two percent of blacks and 65% of whites reported knowing someone who had surgery for hip or knee pain (P < 0.0001). Blacks were less likely than whites to report that surgery had helped someone they knew with hip or knee pain (not significant).

Conclusion

Blacks know fewer people who have had surgical treatment of hip and knee pain than whites and appear to be less likely to perceive that such treatment is beneficial.