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Patients’ Preferred and Retrospectively Perceived Levels of Involvement During Decision-Making Regarding Carpal Tunnel Release
Hyun Sik Gong, MD, PhD1; Jung Kyu Huh, MD1; Jung Ha Lee, MD1; Min Bom Kim, MD1; Moon Sang Chung, MD, PhD1; Goo Hyun Baek, MD, PhD1
1 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 300 Gumi-dong, Bundang-gu, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do 463-707, South Korea. E-mail address for H.S. Gong: hsgong@snu.ac.kr
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Disclosure: None of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of any aspect of this work. None of the authors, or their institution(s), have had any financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with any entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. Also, no author has had any other relationships, or has engaged in any other activities, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by authors are always provided with the online version of the article.

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Investigation performed at the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, South Korea

Copyright © 2011 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2011 Aug 17;93(16):1527-1533. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.J.00951
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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.


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.


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).


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.

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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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