Research Article  |   July 2013
Investigating the Effectiveness of Full-Time Wrist Splinting and Education in the Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Author Affiliations
  • Barbara Hall, MHS(OT), BSc(OT), is Certified Hand Therapist and Private Consultant in Hand Therapy and Senior Occupational Therapist, Occupational Therapy Hand and Upper Limb Clinic, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth, Western Australia
  • Hoe C. Lee, PhD, is Senior Lecturer and Senior Research Fellow, School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, GPO Box U1987, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; H.Lee@curtin.edu.au
  • Helen Fitzgerald, BSc(OT), is Senior Occupational Therapist, Occupational Therapy Hand and Upper Limb Clinic, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth, Western Australia
  • Brent Byrne, BSc(OT), is Senior Occupational Therapist, Occupational Therapy Hand and Upper Limb Clinic, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth, Western Australia
  • Annette Barton, Msc BSc(OT), is Deputy Head of Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth, Western Australia
  • Andy H. Lee, PhD, is Professor in Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia
Article Information
Hand and Upper Extremity / Splinting / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability
Research Article   |   July 2013
Investigating the Effectiveness of Full-Time Wrist Splinting and Education in the Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2013, Vol. 67, 448-459. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.006031
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2013, Vol. 67, 448-459. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.006031
Abstract

This study investigated the effects of wearing a wrist support splint for 8 wk and receiving a formal education program on patients with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), as well as factors associated with patients’ desire to seek surgical intervention. Participants were recruited from a hospital surgical wait list and randomly assigned to an intervention group (n = 30) or a control group (n = 24). Significant improvements in measures of symptom severity and functional status over the duration of the study appeared in the intervention group but not in the control group. Logistic regression for the intervention group showed that symptom severity (odds ratio [OR] = 1.53, 95% confidence interval [CI] [1.20–1.93]), functional deficits (OR = 1.31, 95% CI [1.08–1.57]), pain score (OR = 1.25, 95% CI [1.11–1.61]), and symptom duration (OR = 1.11, 95% CI [1.01–1.24]) were positively associated with the desire to seek surgical intervention. This conservative CTS treatment program conducted by occupational therapists can improve symptoms and hand function in CTS patients.