, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 139-145

Validation of the Chinese Version of the Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire

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Abstract

Purpose Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common diagnosis occurring in the workplace when people experience hand or wrist symptoms and difficulty performing activities. This study aimed to investigate the psychometric properties of the Chinese version of the Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire (BCTQ) used to evaluate patients with CTS. Methods A convenience sample of patients with CTS was recruited from two hospitals. The Symptom Severity Scale (SSS) and Functional Status Scale (FSS) of the BCTQ were used to assess symptoms and functional status. Test–retest reliability within 1 week was evaluated (n = 51). Construct validity was assessed by examining the relationship between the BCTQ and other well known measures (n = 99). Responsiveness of the scale was examined pre- and post-operatively for patients undergoing carpal tunnel surgery (n = 23). Results High reliability was demonstrated through intraclass correlation coefficients of 0.81 and 0.83 for SSS and FSS, respectively. The minimal detectable change was 0.86 and 0.75 for SSS and FSS, respectively. Convergent validity was supported by high correlation of both scales with Disability of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (|rho| = 0.63, 0.75 for SSS and FSS), and moderate to high correlation with the subscales of the Short-Form 36 for SSS(|rho| = 0.72 for Body Pain) and FSS (|rho| = 0.48 for Physical Function). Responsiveness was confirmed by moderate to high standardized response means for SSS (1.03) and FSS (0.62). Conclusion The Chinese BCTQ is a reliable, valid and responsive disease-specific measure for assessment of symptoms and functional status in patients with CTS.