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Self-Reported Upper Extremity Health Status Correlates with Depression
David Ring, MD1; John Kadzielski, BA1; Lauren Fabian, BA1; David Zurakowski, PhD2; Leah R. Malhotra, BA1; Jesse B. Jupiter, MD1
1 Hand and Upper Extremity Service, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Yawkey Center, Suite 2100, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114. E-mail address for D. Ring: dring@partners.org
2 Orthopaedic Surgery and Biostatistics, Harvard Medical School, Children's Hospital Boston, Hunnewell 218, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
View Disclosures and Other Information
In support of their research for or preparation of this manuscript, one or more of the authors received grants or outside funding from the AO Foundation. None of the authors received payments or other benefits or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity. No commercial entity paid or directed, or agreed to pay or direct, any benefits to any research fund, foundation, educational institution, or other charitable or nonprofit organization with which the authors are affiliated or associated.
Investigation performed at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2006 Sep 01;88(9):1983-1988. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.E.00932
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Background: The Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) questionnaire is the most widely used upper extremity-specific health-status measure. The DASH score often demonstrates greater variability than would be expected on the basis of objective pathology. This variability may be related to psychosocial factors. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the correlation between the DASH score and psychological factors for specific diagnoses with relatively limited variation in objective pathology.

Methods: Two hundred and thirty-five patients with a single, common, discrete hand problem known to have limited variations in objective pathology completed the DASH questionnaire, the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire-Revised (EPQ-R) to assess neuroticism, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (CES-D) scale to quantify depressive symptoms, and the Pain Anxiety Symptoms Scale (PASS). Forty-five patients had carpal tunnel syndrome, forty-four had de Quervain tenosynovitis, forty-eight had lateral elbow pain, and seventy-one had a single trigger finger. In addition, twenty-seven patients were evaluated six weeks after a nonoperatively treated fracture of the distal part of the radius. Relationships between psychosocial factors and the DASH score were determined.

Results: A significant positive correlation between the DASH score and depression was noted for all diagnoses (r = 0.38 to 0.52; p < 0.01 for all). The DASH score also correlated with pain anxiety for four of the five diagnoses (carpal tunnel syndrome, r = 0.40; de Quervain tendinitis, r = 0.46; lateral elbow pain, r = 0.42; and trigger finger, r = 0.24) (p < 0.05 for all). The DASH score was not correlated with neuroticism for any diagnosis. There was a highly significant effect of depression (as measured with the CES-D score) on the DASH score for all diagnoses. Both the CES-D score (F = 62.68, p < 0.0001) and gender (F = 11.36, p < 0.001) were independent predictors of the DASH score.

Conclusions: Self-reported upper extremity-specific health status as measured with the DASH score correlates with depression and pain anxiety but not neuroticism. These data support the contention that psychosocial factors have a strong influence on health-status measures.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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