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Authors

  1. Leow, Mabel Qi He
  2. Teo, Wendy
  3. Low, Tzuemn Ling
  4. Tay, Shian Chao

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Hand conditions are common in elderly persons.

 

PURPOSE: To assess the prevalence of common hand conditions in elderly persons in a community setting, specifically osteoarthritis of the hand, trigger finger, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

 

METHODS: The elderly persons were recruited from community groups for elderly persons. Data collection included participants' demographic and clinical data; quick disability, arm, shoulder, and hand (QuickDASH) questionnaire; and presence of hand conditions.

 

RESULTS: Of the 55 elderly persons recruited, almost a third of them presented with a hand condition (n = 17, 30.8%). Hand conditions were more common in females (39% in females, 7% in males; [chi]2 = 4.97, p = .04). Quick-DASH scores were higher in those with hand conditions, indicating lower levels of function (greater disability) (t =-4.61, p = .002).

 

CONCLUSIONS: Most elderly persons did not seek medical attention for their hand condition until the late stages. Nurses can play an important role in providing community hand assessment, education on hand symptoms, information about available treatment, and adaptive approaches to maximize functioning.