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Investigations for radiculopathy: The patient perspective. A qualitative, interpretative inquiry

Investigations for radiculopathy: The patient perspective. A qualitative, interpretative inquiry
Investigations for radiculopathy: The patient perspective. A qualitative, interpretative inquiry
Background:

Clinical guidelines recommend that investigations, such as magnetic resonance imaging, are offered only when likely to change management. Meanwhile, the optimal process of diagnosing radiculopathy remains uncertain and, in clinical practice, differences of opinion can occur between patient and clinician regarding the perceived importance of investigations.

Objectives:

To explore peoples' experiences of investigations and the effect of concordance between clinical presentation and investigation findings.

Methods:

In this qualitative study, 14 participants who had recently undergone investigations for a clinical presentation of radiculopathy were purposively recruited from an NHS, Primary Care Service in the United Kingdom. Based on the principles of interpretative phenomenological analysis, individual, semi-structured interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were managed using a framework approach and analysed thematically.

Findings:

Although people reported wanting investigations to understand the cause of symptoms and inform management, access to them was reported to be difficult and protracted. When investigations revealed potentially relevant findings, people experienced relief, validation, empowerment and decisive decision-making. Disappointment emerged, however, regarding treatment options and waiting times, and long-term prognosis. When investigations failed to identify relevant findings, people were unable to make sense of their symptoms, relinquish their search to identify the cause, or to move forward in their management.

Conclusions:

This study provides the first reported in-depth interpretation of peoples' experience of undergoing investigations specifically for radiculopathy. Important implications have been identified for: investigation referral criteria; shared-decision-making; information sharing and managing expectations and disappointment.
2468-7812
71-76
Ryan, Clare
9717a202-01e9-41b1-b2f3-44a08e1232fd
Roberts, Lisa
0a937943-5246-4877-bd6b-4dcd172b5cd0
Ryan, Clare
9717a202-01e9-41b1-b2f3-44a08e1232fd
Roberts, Lisa
0a937943-5246-4877-bd6b-4dcd172b5cd0

Ryan, Clare and Roberts, Lisa (2018) Investigations for radiculopathy: The patient perspective. A qualitative, interpretative inquiry. Musculoskeletal Science and Practice, 33, 71-76. (doi:10.1016/j.msksp.2017.11.005).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background:

Clinical guidelines recommend that investigations, such as magnetic resonance imaging, are offered only when likely to change management. Meanwhile, the optimal process of diagnosing radiculopathy remains uncertain and, in clinical practice, differences of opinion can occur between patient and clinician regarding the perceived importance of investigations.

Objectives:

To explore peoples' experiences of investigations and the effect of concordance between clinical presentation and investigation findings.

Methods:

In this qualitative study, 14 participants who had recently undergone investigations for a clinical presentation of radiculopathy were purposively recruited from an NHS, Primary Care Service in the United Kingdom. Based on the principles of interpretative phenomenological analysis, individual, semi-structured interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were managed using a framework approach and analysed thematically.

Findings:

Although people reported wanting investigations to understand the cause of symptoms and inform management, access to them was reported to be difficult and protracted. When investigations revealed potentially relevant findings, people experienced relief, validation, empowerment and decisive decision-making. Disappointment emerged, however, regarding treatment options and waiting times, and long-term prognosis. When investigations failed to identify relevant findings, people were unable to make sense of their symptoms, relinquish their search to identify the cause, or to move forward in their management.

Conclusions:

This study provides the first reported in-depth interpretation of peoples' experience of undergoing investigations specifically for radiculopathy. Important implications have been identified for: investigation referral criteria; shared-decision-making; information sharing and managing expectations and disappointment.

Text Investigations for radiculopathy - the patient perspective ACCEPTED - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 21 November 2018.
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Text Investigations for Radiculopathy: The Patient Perspective. A Qualitative, Interpretative Inquiry - Version of Record
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 18 November 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 21 November 2017
Published date: February 2018
Additional Information: This paper was presented at the Society for Back Pain Research conference in Northampton on 2nd November 2017 and Clare Ryan won the 'New investigator's award'.

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 415987
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/415987
ISSN: 2468-7812
PURE UUID: 0a72cf73-9c64-410c-9e8f-74a6ac284d12

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 29 Nov 2017 17:30
Last modified: 23 Feb 2018 17:31

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