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  • Mark van der Oest

A lot of differences in perception of illness of four common hand disorders.

Rotterdam - A new study in collaboration with Erasmus Medical Center and Xpert Clinic shows that there are major differences in how patients with (different) hand disorders experience their disease. This is the next step in better understanding the complaints, from the patient's perspective.

In the study, more than 500 patients were asked how they experience their disease. Patients were asked what the impact of their illness is on their daily lives, how long they think their illness will last and what they expect from treatment. The researchers compared the responses of patients with thumb-base osteoarthritis, Dupuytren's disease, carpal tunnel syndrome or a trigger finger. Principal researcher Mark van der Oest explains the results: “Patients with thumb-base osteoarthritis generally have a more negative experience of their disease than patients with Dupuytren's disease. This difference is mainly due to the fact that people with thumb-base osteoarthritis experience far more limitations of their complaints than patients with Dupuytren's disease.

Hand surgeon Reinier Feitz explains what these results mean for him. “It is very important to know the impact of the disease from the patient's perspective. This way I know better what a patient wants and I can help a patient with this.”

A striking finding during the study was that patients, irrespective of their illness, had a great deal of confidence in the treatment and indicated that they understood their illness well. Drs. Feitz says: "It is very nice to hear from patients that they are positive about our explanation and have faith in the treatment we offer them."

There is already a lot of speculation about a possible follow-up investigation. Mark van der Oest hints that the results of a new study will soon be published. This research examines how the patient's perception of illness influences the outcome of the treatment.

The scientific publication of the research can be found here


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