Need space for 'qualifications' for responses


Your questionnaire is easy to follow, and complete, and comprehensive. However I would venture to suggest where it may be made more useful to researchers and perhaps more accurate scores to some participants.
Three days ago I had a nerve conductivity test that showed that there was no response in my right thumb - the medic conducting the test told me that the nerve damage was 'unsalvageable' and that the muscle at the base of my thumb was completely wasted; the muscle of my left thumb is showing early signs of wastage with consequent lowering of response to nerve stimulus but could be treated with minor surgery. My score in the questionnaire came out in the mid-50s.
The questions about pain/tingling/numbness when completing certain tasks has no provision for people who do not use one of their hands, eg I left the section on writing with my left hand blank as I can't write with it; I was returned to page to complete all sections so I had to guess what it might be like if I did use it. This does not seem very scientific. There were other instances in this section.
The section which caused me (I think) to get a low score was that regarding how many times I wake at night with pain/tingling/numbness. I responded 'once' which is accurate. But there was no space to qualify this response. In reality I only wake once a night because, having woken, the discomfort is so severe that I cannot get back to sleep and usually end up getting up, massaging my hands (or whatever temporarily eases them), etc. Sometimes I return to bed, maybe hours later, and if I do manage to fall back to sleep I then wake with the alarm in moderate discomfort.
Thank you for your website and I'm so pleased to have found it yesterday. I feel it will be of great use to me.


Interesting points - thankyou. The final multiple choice section of the questionnaire is not of my own devising and I cannot alter it without losing comparaibility with other users of the same questionnaire. I agree that one of the fundamental problems of this instrument, which was originally devised by Drs Levine and Katz in Boston, is that it has never been clear how it was to be answered by a patient with two affected hands. The current forced answering of a full set of questions for each hand by the website is a solution to a statistical problem of needing hand specific answers but is not ideal. I think the Boston group now do the SSS scale once for each hand but the FSS just once for both hands together. I think most people settle on the solution of answering 'not a problem' for activities which they do not do with the hand in question.

One of the reasons for having the discussion forums is to give people a chance to qualify questionnaire answers but the IT is not yet good enough to interpret free text and to apply the mathematical approaches that we use to assess the probability of CTS we do have to have categorised answers.

The features which will have pulled your score down a bit are the lack of nocturnal symptoms (you answered the set of questions on the timing of symptoms indicating only symptoms first thing in the morning) and the lack of obvious risk factors - you are not overweight, have no family history, no diabetes etc - however 56% is actually quite a high score in our terms and I've also answered in the other forum regarding the issue of unsalvageability. JB

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