Is delayed nerve conduction associated with increased self-reported disability in individuals with hand symptoms? A population based study.
Ferry S., Pritchard T., Keenan J., Croft P., Silman AJ.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether, in individuals in the general population with hand symptoms, there is a greater level of disability in those with objective evidence of delayed nerve conduction. METHODS: A 19 item disability schedule relevant to hand function was developed for this survey. Subjects included 71 individual respondents to a random population survey who reported pain, tingling, numbness, or loss of sensation in the hands during an interview and who agreed to have nerve conduction studies. They were divided into those with (10) and without (61) delayed median nerve conduction. RESULTS: Those with delayed conduction were more likely to report disability for 14 of the 19 items assessed. Half those with delayed conduction reported disability in 7 or more items, compared with 18% of those with normal conduction (chi-squared = 7.49, p = 0.006). Disability items that showed the greatest disparity between the 2 groups were those that relied on hand, although not specifically fine hand, movements. CONCLUSION: Individuals with hand symptoms in the general population who have objective evidence of delayed nerve conduction have a greater degree of self-reported disability than those with normal conduction.