Accuracy of diagnostic clinical tests and questionnaires in screening for carpal tunnel syndrome among workers- A systematic review
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OBJECTIVE: To synthesize and appraise the evidence on the diagnostic accuracy of the clinical examination tests and questionnaires for screening carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) among workers. DESIGN: Systematic review of diagnostic test accuracy METHODS: Electronic search of 3 online databases (CINAHL, Embase, Medline) was done on August 31, 2020. Studies reporting the diagnostic accuracy of clinical examination tests in workers, compared to a reference standard test, were included. Diagnostic accuracy measures such as sensitivity (Sn) and specificity (Sp) were extracted and reported for different clinical examination tests. The risk of bias and applicability concerns were rated using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies-2 tool by 2 independent reviewers. Diagnostic tests accuracy extension of the PRISMA guidelines were followed. RESULTS: Twelve studies reporting on the diagnostic accuracy of the clinical examination tests for workers suspected of CTS were included. Fourteen different clinical examination tests were evaluated in the studies, including sensorimotor, provocative maneuvers, questionnaires, and hand symptom diagrams (HSD). Ten of the included studies had an either unclear or high risk of bias. The most accurate tests to diagnose CTS in workers were the Katz HSD (with Sn ranging from 38%-93%, and Sp ranging from 25%-89%) and Kamath and Stothard questionnaire (Sn and Sp = 100%). Combination of Katz HSD with either the Phalen's maneuver or the Tinel's sign resulted in excellent Sp (83% and 89%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Low to moderate quality evidence indicates variability in individual clinical examination tests used to screen for CTS in workers. Diagnostic self-report tools consisting of hand diagrams and/or diagnostic questions provide low burden and high accuracy. Still, they require more rigorous investigation about their value alone or in combination with clinical assessment tests.