Telephone questionnaire may decrease electrodiagnostic testing for carpal tunnel syndrome
LAS VEGAS — Use of a carpal tunnel syndrome telephone screening questionnaire decreased electrodiagnostic testing and made referral to a surgeon more efficient, according to results presented at the American Society for Surgery of the Hand Annual Meeting.
Brian Foster, MD , and colleagues used a telephone screening questionnaire to identify whether patients who presented with symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome should be referred to a hand surgeon or to electrodiagnostic testing.
Of the 100 patients screened, Foster noted that 34 patients had a positive screening. Of this cohort, 27 patients were scheduled for treatment with a hand surgeon. According to Foster, 16 of the 27 patients underwent procedural intervention and one patient went on to receive surgery.
“Of all patients with a positive screening, five — through discretion of the hand surgeon — required electrodiagnostic testing and of those, two were diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome,” Foster said.
Results showed an overall decrease of 29% in electrodiagnostic testing utilization. For patients with a positive screening, Foster noted electrodiagnostic testing decreased by 85%.
“Our telephone screening questionnaire was successful in reducing electrodiagnostic testing and streamlining access to hand surgeons for patients with suspected carpal tunnel syndrome,” Foster said. “Future research is still required to determine the utility and cost-effectiveness of electrodiagnostic testing on carpal tunnel syndrome.” – by Erin T. Welsh
Foster B, et al. Abstract 13. Presented at: American Society for Surgery of the Hand Annual Meeting; Sept. 5-7, 2019; Las Vegas.
Disclosure: Foster reports no relevant financial disclosures.