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Title: Severity and progression of hand pain and functional difficulty : a prospective cohort study in community-dwelling older adults with hand pain
Author: Nicholls, Elaine Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 5994 3927
Awarding Body: Keele University
Current Institution: Keele University
Date of Award: 2016
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Background: Hand problems are common in older adults causing pain and disruption to daily living. Understanding prognosis of such problems is therefore important to provide information on likely symptom course and to target treatment to those in most need. The aim of this thesis was to investigate prognosis of hand pain and functional difficulty in communitydwelling older adults with hand pain. Methods: The majority of data analysis was based on a cohort of adults aged 50 years and over reporting hand pain in the last 12-months at baseline (N=623). The Australian/Canadian Hand Osteoarthritis Index (AUSCAN) was the primary measure of hand pain (0-10) and function (0-10), measured at baseline and four follow-up time-points (1.5, 3, 5, and 7.5-years). Random effect models, latent class growth models, parallel process growth models and parallel process growth mixture models were used to model longitudinal trajectories of AUSCAN pain and functional difficulty over time. Results: Trajectories of hand pain and functional difficulty were shown to be relatively stable for the majority of participants over the 7.5-year follow-up period with an overall mean change per year of 0.05 (95% confidence interval: 0.02, 0.07) and 0.07 (95% confidence interval 0.05, 0.09) points for AUSCAN pain and function respectively. Although combinations of predictors were identified that predicted symptom course, the strongest predictor was the baseline measure for the outcome of interest, with model fit not greatly improved by adding three further predictors to the model e.g. Nagelkerke’s pseudo R-square: Hand pain, baseline only 0.64; with additional predictors 0.70; Hand function, 0.80 and 0.83 respectively. A group of participants with hand pain trajectories that differed greatly from their hand function trajectories was not identified suggesting that changes in hand pain are linked to changes in hand function over time. Conclusions: Progression of hand symptoms was not inevitable for all participants when assessed over a 7.5 year time-period. Baseline symptom severity may be the single most important predictor to identify those with an unfavourable symptom course and where early onward referral/treatment may be useful. This work remains exploratory however until findings are replicated in an external dataset.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QP Physiology