Perception of Treatment Success and Impact on Function with Antibiotics or Appendectomy for Appendicitis: A Randomized Clinical Trial with an Observational Cohort.

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Publication Date


Publication Title

Annals of surgery


washington; everett; prmc


OBJECTIVE: To compare secondary patient reported outcomes of perceptions of treatment success and function for patients treated for appendicitis with appendectomy vs. antibiotics at 30 days.

SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: The Comparison of Outcomes of antibiotic Drugs and Appendectomy trial found antibiotics noninferior to appendectomy based on 30-day health status. To address questions about outcomes among participants with lower socioeconomic status, we explored the relationship of sociodemographic and clinical factors and outcomes.

METHODS: We focused on 4 patient reported outcomes at 30 days: high decisional regret, dissatisfaction with treatment, problems performing usual activities, and missing >10 days of work. The randomized (RCT) and observational cohorts were pooled for exploration of baseline factors. The RCT cohort alone was used for comparison of treatments. Logistic regression was used to assess associations.

RESULTS: The pooled cohort contained 2062 participants; 1552 from the RCT. Overall, regret and dissatisfaction were low whereas problems with usual activities and prolonged missed work occurred more frequently. In the RCT, those assigned to antibiotics had more regret (Odd ratios (OR) 2.97, 95% Confidence intervals (CI) 2.05-4.31) and dissatisfaction (OR 1.98, 95%CI 1.25-3.12), and reported less missed work (OR 0.39, 95%CI 0.27-0.56). Factors associated with function outcomes included sociodemographic and clinical variables for both treatment arms. Fewer factors were associated with dissatisfaction and regret.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, participants reported high satisfaction, low regret, and were frequently able to resume usual activities and return to work. When comparing treatments for appendicitis, no single measure defines success or failure for all people. The reported data may inform discussions regarding the most appropriate treatment for individuals.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Identifier: NCT02800785.

Clinical Institute

Digestive Health