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What is the long-term quality of life (QOL) and patient satisfaction after antibiotic treatment or appendectomy for uncomplicated acute appendicitis?
In this secondary analysis of a randomized clinical trial with 7-year observational follow-up of 423 patients, there was no difference in QOL between the treatments. Patients who underwent appendectomy were more satisfied in their treatment than patients taking antibiotics based on the antibiotic group patients undergoing appendectomy; patient satisfaction after successful antibiotic treatment and appendectomy was similar.
The long-term QOL of patients with uncomplicated acute appendicitis is similar after appendectomy and antibiotics, but the lower satisfaction of patients who underwent an operation and took antibiotics calls for identifying predictive parameters for appendicitis recurrence.
Long-term results support antibiotics for uncomplicated acute appendicitis as an alternative to appendectomy. To our knowledge, treatment-related long-term patient satisfaction and quality of life (QOL) are not known.
To determine patient satisfaction and QOL after antibiotic therapy and appendectomy for treating uncomplicated acute appendicitis.
Open appendectomy vs antibiotics with intravenous ertapenem, 1 g once daily, for 3 days followed by 7 days of oral levofloxacin, 500 mg once daily, and metronidazole, 500 mg 3 times per day.
Design, Setting, and Participants
This observational follow-up of the Appendicitis Acuta (APPAC) multicenter randomized clinical trial comparing appendectomy with antibiotics included 530 patients age 18 to 60 years with computed tomography–confirmed uncomplicated acute appendicitis who were randomized to undergo appendectomy (273 [52%]) or receive antibiotics (257 [49%]). The trial was conducted from November 2009 to June 2012; the last follow-up was May 9, 2018. The data were analyzed in February 2019.
Main Outcomes and Measures
In this analysis, post hoc secondary end points of postintervention QOL (EQ-5D-5L) and patient satisfaction and treatment preference were evaluated.
Of the 530 patients enrolled in the trial (appendectomy group: 273 [174 men (64%)] with a median age of 35 years; (antibiotic group: 257 [155 men (60%)] with a median age of 33 years), 423 patients (80%) were available for phone interview at a median follow-up of 7 years; 206 patients (80%) took antibiotics and 217 (79%) underwent appendectomy. Of the 206 patients taking antibiotics, 81 (39%) had undergone appendectomy. The QOL between appendectomy and antibiotic group patients was similar (median health index value, 1.0 in both groups; 95% CI, 0.86-1.0; P = .96). Patients who underwent appendectomy were more satisfied in the treatment than patients taking antibiotics (68% very satisfied, 21% satisfied, 6% indifferent, 4% unsatisfied, and 1% very unsatisfied in the appendectomy group and 53% very satisfied, 21% satisfied, 13% indifferent, 7% unsatisfied, and 6% very unsatisfied in the antibiotic group; P < .001) and in a subgroup analysis this difference was based on the antibiotic group patients undergoing appendectomy. There was no difference in patient satisfaction after successful antibiotic treatment compared with appendectomy (cumulative odds ratio [COR], 7.8; 95% CI, 0.5-1.3; P < .36). Patients with appendectomy or with successful antibiotic therapy were more satisfied than antibiotic group patients who later underwent appendectomy (COR, 7.7; 95% CI, 4.6-12.9; P < .001; COR, 9.7; 95% CI, 5.4-15.3; P < .001, respectively). Of the 81 patients taking antibiotics who underwent appendectomy, 27 (33%) would again choose antibiotics as their primary treatment.
Conclusions and Relevance
In this analysis, long-term QOL was similar after appendectomy and antibiotic therapy for the treatment of uncomplicated acute appendicitis. Patients taking antibiotics who later underwent appendectomy were less satisfied than patients with successful antibiotics or appendectomy.
Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01022567
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Accepted for Publication: December 1, 2019.
Corresponding Author: Paulina Salminen, MD, PhD, Turku University Hospital, PO Box 52, 20520 Turku, Finland (email@example.com).
Published Online: February 19, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2019.6028
Author Contributions: Drs Sippola and Salminen had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.
Concept and design: Sippola, Grönroos, Paajanen, Rautio, Nordström, Aarnio, Hurme, Mecklin, Jartti, Salminen.
Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Sippola, Haijanen, Viinikainen, Grönroos, Paajanen, Rautio, Nordström, Rantanen, Hurme, Sand, Jartti, Salminen.
Drafting of the manuscript: Sippola, Grönroos, Paajanen, Hurme, Salminen.
Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: All authors.
Statistical analysis: Hurme, Salminen.
Obtained funding: Sippola, Salminen.
Administrative, technical, or material support: Sippola, Haijanen, Viinikainen, Rantanen, Hurme, Mecklin, Salminen.
Supervision: Grönroos, Rautio, Nordström, Rantanen, Sand, Salminen.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Sippola reported grants from Mary and Georg C. Ehrnrooth Foundation and Turku University Hospital during the conduct of the study. Dr Salminen reported personal fees from Orion Pharma and Merck outside the submitted work. No other disclosures were reported.
Funding/Support: This trial was supported by the Mary and Georg C. Ehrnrooth Foundation and a government research grant awarded to Turku University Hospital.
Role of the Funder/Sponsor: The funding organizations had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
Data Sharing Statement: See Supplement 2.
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