The objectives of this survey study were to: (1) determine practice patterns, (2) assess beliefs and attitudes toward ultrasound-guided intra-articular injections (UGIIs), (3) identify barriers to the use of UGII, and (4) determine any differences in beliefs and attitudes based on age or specialty.
A survey was developed using a focus group including physicians who perform intra-articular injections of the knee, shoulder, and/or hip. After validation by the focus group, the final survey (28 questions) was e-mailed to members of the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine (N = 632).
A total of 168 responses were received (26.6%). Nearly half of respondents rarely/never had access to UGII equipment (48.5%), and over half did not have adequate training in UGIIs (56.8%-68.8%). About half of respondents agreed that UGII improves accuracy in knee injections (50.9%); only 35.4% agreed there was evidence to support UGII over non–ultrasound-guided intra-articular injections (NGIIs) of the knee. Physicians younger than 50 years were significantly more likely to use UGII for the knee and hip if they had better access to equipment (P < 0.0005 for both); they were more likely to use UGII for the knee if it was less time-consuming (P = 0.001).
The majority of respondents are not using UGII for the knee or shoulder. Physicians may overestimate their accuracy in performing NGIIs. The biggest barriers to UGII were identified as: (1) inadequate training; (2) lack of access to equipment; and (3) lack of time. Younger physicians seem more open to adopting UGII if barriers are addressed.