Hand therapists report perceived differences in patient referrals from hand surgeons vs other referral sources: A survey study
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STUDY DESIGN: Descriptive research. INTRODUCTION/PURPOSE: Survey research was performed to determine if there is a perceived difference in outcomes of patients referred to hand therapy from specialized hand surgeons vs nonspecialized physicians. METHODS: The survey was administered to members of the American Society of Hand Therapists through an electronic mailing. RESULTS: A total of 744 American Society of Hand Therapists members responded to the survey. Therapists reported a difference in recovery time between patients referred by a hand surgeon vs a nonspecialized physician. Sixty-seven percent (n = 490) of the respondents answered yes and 12% (n = 84) answered no. DISCUSSION: It is important to consider that not all hand patients receive treatment from a specialized hand surgeon and that a specialized hand therapist may be an integral team member for patients who have not received specialized care from their referral source. CONCLUSION: Most hand therapists who responded to this survey believe that there is a difference in outcomes of patients referred to hand therapy from specialized hand surgeons vs nonspecialized physicians. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level 3.
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