The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository
Warning ePrints Soton is experiencing an issue with some file downloads not being available. We are working hard to fix this. Please bear with us.

Return to work after carpal tunnel release surgery: a qualitative interview study

Return to work after carpal tunnel release surgery: a qualitative interview study
Return to work after carpal tunnel release surgery: a qualitative interview study
Background: carpal tunnel syndrome is a common nerve compression disorder which affects hand sensation and function. Carpal tunnel release surgery (CTR) is frequently performed to alleviate these symptoms. For many CTR patients, surgery occurs during their working lifetime, but there is currently no evidence-based guidance to inform clinicians or patients when it might be safe to return to different types of work afterwards. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore the return to work experiences of patients who had recently undergone CTR.

Methods: semi-structured 1:1 interviews were conducted with a subgroup of participants recruited to a multi-centre prospective cohort study. Interviewees were purposely selected to represent a range of demographic, clinical and occupational characteristics. All had recently undergone CTR and had returned to work. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using the framework method. Participants were recruited until data saturation was achieved.

Results: 14 participants were interviewed: 11 women (median age 49 years, range 27-61) and 3 men (age range 51-68 years). Three key themes were identified. Theme 1 centred on the level of functional disability experienced immediately after surgery. There was an expectation that CTR would be a ‘minor’ procedure, but this did not match the participants’ experiences. Theme 2 explored the desire for validation for the time away from work, with participants recalling a need to justify their work absence to themselves as well as to their employers. Theme 3 focused on the participants’ reflections of handing their return to work and function, with many reporting uncertainties about what constituted appropriate activity loads and durations. There was a desire for specific information relating to individual work roles.

Conclusion: individual return to work decision-making was largely influenced by the recommendations received. According to the views of participants, clinicians may be able to prepare patients better pre-operatively, especially with respect to function in the immediate post-operative period and by providing return to work guidance that can be tailored for individual work roles.

1471-2474
1-11
Newington, Lisa
7dda4ec9-0bca-463e-9cb3-2a6573fde873
Brooks, Charlotte
f1772470-2f7d-4738-96d8-01d0c1b6ea3a
Warwick, David J
d23cacce-41eb-42bd-b8cc-da6a3b837a9f
Adams, Joanna
6e38b8bb-9467-4585-86e4-14062b02bcba
Walker-Bone, Karen
ad7d1336-ed2c-4f39-ade5-da84eb412109
Newington, Lisa
7dda4ec9-0bca-463e-9cb3-2a6573fde873
Brooks, Charlotte
f1772470-2f7d-4738-96d8-01d0c1b6ea3a
Warwick, David J
d23cacce-41eb-42bd-b8cc-da6a3b837a9f
Adams, Joanna
6e38b8bb-9467-4585-86e4-14062b02bcba
Walker-Bone, Karen
ad7d1336-ed2c-4f39-ade5-da84eb412109

Newington, Lisa, Brooks, Charlotte, Warwick, David J, Adams, Joanna and Walker-Bone, Karen (2019) Return to work after carpal tunnel release surgery: a qualitative interview study. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 20 (1), 1-11, [242]. (doi:10.1186/s12891-019-2638-5).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: carpal tunnel syndrome is a common nerve compression disorder which affects hand sensation and function. Carpal tunnel release surgery (CTR) is frequently performed to alleviate these symptoms. For many CTR patients, surgery occurs during their working lifetime, but there is currently no evidence-based guidance to inform clinicians or patients when it might be safe to return to different types of work afterwards. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore the return to work experiences of patients who had recently undergone CTR.

Methods: semi-structured 1:1 interviews were conducted with a subgroup of participants recruited to a multi-centre prospective cohort study. Interviewees were purposely selected to represent a range of demographic, clinical and occupational characteristics. All had recently undergone CTR and had returned to work. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using the framework method. Participants were recruited until data saturation was achieved.

Results: 14 participants were interviewed: 11 women (median age 49 years, range 27-61) and 3 men (age range 51-68 years). Three key themes were identified. Theme 1 centred on the level of functional disability experienced immediately after surgery. There was an expectation that CTR would be a ‘minor’ procedure, but this did not match the participants’ experiences. Theme 2 explored the desire for validation for the time away from work, with participants recalling a need to justify their work absence to themselves as well as to their employers. Theme 3 focused on the participants’ reflections of handing their return to work and function, with many reporting uncertainties about what constituted appropriate activity loads and durations. There was a desire for specific information relating to individual work roles.

Conclusion: individual return to work decision-making was largely influenced by the recommendations received. According to the views of participants, clinicians may be able to prepare patients better pre-operatively, especially with respect to function in the immediate post-operative period and by providing return to work guidance that can be tailored for individual work roles.

Text
Return to work after carpal tunnel release surgery: a qualitative interview study - Accepted Manuscript
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
Download (52kB)
Text
Return to work after carpal tunnel - Version of Record
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
Download (751kB)

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 16 May 2019
Published date: 22 May 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 431091
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/431091
ISSN: 1471-2474
PURE UUID: ab7f955b-6388-4260-bbee-f1ca3f866980
ORCID for Charlotte Brooks: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4461-1247
ORCID for Joanna Adams: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1765-7060
ORCID for Karen Walker-Bone: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5992-1459

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 23 May 2019 16:30
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 03:05

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Lisa Newington
Author: David J Warwick
Author: Joanna Adams ORCID iD

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×