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Facing symptoms and limitations: a qualitative study of women with carpal tunnel syndrome

Scand J Occup Ther. 2022 Aug 22:1-11. doi: 10.1080/11038128.2022.2112970. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a neuropathic pain condition characterised by pain, paresthesia, loss of strength and disability.

OBJECTIVE: To explore the experiences of women with CTS regarding the management of symptoms and limitations.

METHODS: A qualitative phenomenological study was conducted. Women with a clinical and electromyographic diagnosis of CTS recruited from the Neurology Department of a Public Hospital were included. Purposeful sampling was performed. Data were collected using in-depth interviews and researchers’ field notes. Analysis proposed by Giorgi was used.

RESULTS: A total of 18 women with CTS were included. Two themes emerged: a) Living with CTS symptoms and limitations: describing the symptoms experienced, triggers of their symptoms and how they define CTS. Also, describing the difficulties that they experience on a daily basis, at home when handling tools, communicating, driving, and at work; and b) developing daily strategies for managing limitations: developing potential daily strategies to overcome daily limitations and/or compensate for them, and seeking professional help.

CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: Current results provide insight on how symptoms and daily limitations are experienced by a group of women with CTS. These findings could help occupational therapists to understand the day-to-day difficulties and the reasons for developing certain strategies.

PMID:35995148 | DOI:10.1080/11038128.2022.2112970


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