Patient-centered care requires physicians to respond to patients’ preferences, including their preferences regarding treatment decision-making. The authors surveyed patients to determine their preoperative preferences and their retrospectively perceived levels of involvement in decision-making for carpal tunnel release, and they attempted to identify factors that affect patient preferences and experiences.Methods:
Seventy-eight patients who underwent carpal tunnel release for carpal tunnel syndrome were requested to indicate their preferred level of involvement preoperatively and to assess their actual levels of involvement postoperatively, using a Control Preferences Scale containing five levels that range from fully active to fully passive. Clinical and demographic factors that potentially affected patients’ preoperative preferences and postoperative assessments of levels of involvement were analyzed.Results:
Fifty-nine patients (76%) indicated preoperatively that they preferred shared decision-making, and sixty-six (85%) thought postoperatively that they had experienced this type of decision-making. The correlation between preoperative and postoperative Control Preferences Scale assessments was significant (r = 0.525, p < 0.001). A history of a surgical procedure was independently associated with a preoperative preference for a more active role (odds ratio = 4.2), and patients with a caregiver (odds ratio = 4.0) or private insurance (odds ratio = 2.6) were more likely to experience an active role. Patients who preferred a collaborative role had lower scores on the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire than those who preferred a fully active role (p = 0.002) or a fully passive role (p = 0.009).Conclusions:
The majority of patients with carpal tunnel syndrome preferred to share surgical decision-making with the surgeon, and those who preferred a collaborative role had less severe symptoms than those who preferred a fully active or a fully passive role. A history of a surgical procedure, having a caregiver, and having private insurance were associated with a more active role. This information may assist the establishment of patient-centered consultation in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome.