According to the study results, patients were more likely to assume an active role in the decision-making process if they:
“It is likely that the experience of a previous operation clarified uncertainties or conflicts regarding surgery, and that the presence of a caregiver allowed patients greater freedom during decision-making,” Dr. Gong noted.
In a ‘patient-centered’ approach, patients’ cultural traditions, personal preferences and values, family situations, social circumstances and lifestyles are considered in the decision-making process.
Patient-centered care presumes active involvement of patients and their families in health care and in decision-making about individual options for treatment, and is identified as one of important factors constituting high-quality health care, Dr. Gong continued.
Although the current study did not determine which type of role, if any, resulted in better surgical outcomes, Dr. Gong said a subsequent study is being conducted evaluating surgical outcomes and patients’ preferred levels of involvement.
“Symptoms and signs of CTS are widely recognized, but the natural history is still unclear,” Dr. Gong said. “There are several treatment options available for CTS, but a discussion between a patient and his or her physician, based upon what activities patients need to pursue will help them achieve their mutual goal of getting back to activities, together. Therefore, the need for patient involvement in CTS is different from the treatment for other orthopaedic conditions such as fractures or bone tumors, where the decision can be more straightforward or depend on the physician’s decision.”
Patients considering treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome or any orthopaedic injury should feel comfortable with their provider’s level of involvement and not be afraid to ask questions or speak up, Dr. Gong noted.
SOURCE American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons