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Understanding the Non-Surgical Treatment Experience of Female Patients with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Qualitative Study

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Sep 28;19(19):12349. doi: 10.3390/ijerph191912349.


Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a peripheral neuropathy of the upper extremity, characterized by pain, loss of strength, and decreased fine motor function. This study describes the experiences of women with CTS who received non-surgical treatments. A qualitative phenomenological study was undertaken. Purposive sampling was used. Women with clinical and electromyographic diagnoses of CTS were included. Eighteen in-depth interviews were conducted among women with CTS, and field notes were kept. The Giorgi’s approach was used for qualitative analysis of the data collected. Five themes emerged: (a) Seeking help and waiting for a diagnosis, (b) trying non-surgical therapeutic options, (c) avoiding invasive options, (d) treatment expectations, and (e) relationships with clinicians. The women described how diagnoses were delayed because women delay seeking help and referrals to medical specialists. Women avoid surgical options and prefer to opt for more conservative approaches, such as splinting or physical therapy. The main reason for avoiding surgical treatment is the fear of limitations and that surgery will not fully eliminate the symptoms. Conflicts may arise in the relationship with the clinician, and they demand to be able to participate in the decision-making process.

PMID:36231644 | DOI:10.3390/ijerph191912349


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