BACKGROUND: In hand surgery, and specifically carpal tunnel syndrome, it is currently unknown whether experiences with health care influence surgical outcome. To investigate whether there is an association between patient-reported experience measures and symptom relief, data were gathered using a cohort of patients undergoing surgical treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. METHODS: Patient-reported experience measures and patient-reported outcome measures were registered in a national database of 16 hand surgery practices. The experience measure data were gathered at 3 months after surgery and included six subscales on different health care delivery aspects (e.g., provided information, communication, facility, operative care). The outcome measure data were acquired before and 3 months after surgery with the Boston Carpal Tunnel Assessment Questionnaire. The association was tested using linear regression analyses. RESULTS: A total of 1607 patients were included in the analysis. The experience measure scores were good to excellent, with a median value between 8.0 and 8.5 on a 10-point scale. Regression analyses showed a significant (p < 0.001) association with the Boston Carpal Tunnel Assessment Questionnaire for all individual patient-reported experience measure subscales. The greatest effects were found in physician communication and treatment information. Patient-reported experience measures accounted for more than 5 percent of the explained variance, with patient characteristics explaining an approximately additional 3 percent. CONCLUSIONS: In this large data set of carpal tunnel syndrome patients who underwent surgical release, a significant impact of health care experiences on self-reported clinical outcome was found. This is relevant information, not only for directing care providers in improving health care experiences as a quality-of-health care measure but now also potentially to achieve better clinical outcome. CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic, III.
ASJC Scopus subject areas