Home' Southern Health News : Southern Health News July 2018 Edition Contents Patients given a ‘voice’
over hand surgery
The second phase of an international
project aimed at empowering patients
to have a say in hand surgery services
will be launched as part of an initiative
at Flinders Medical Centre.
The ‘HAND Q’ project is developing a Patient
Reported Outcomes Measure (PROM) for hand
surgery patients. This is a tool that can be used to
give patients a voice and for services to be shaped
based on the feedback and perspective of the
Chief Investigator, Dr Kyra Sierakowski, said
measuring outcomes from the perspective of the
patient is gaining acceptance in various fields of
both medicine and surgery.
“Regardless of age, gender or profession, we all
demand a huge variety of functional tasks from
our hands every day. Even a minor issue with your
hand can cause a significant effect on a person’s
everyday functioning,” Dr Sierakowski said.
The HAND-Q is being developed by Dr Sierakowski
at Flinders University to improve the measurement
of outcomes following hand surgery. The HAND-Q
is the first of the ‘Q-PROMs’ with the lead
developer based in Australia.
“Only the patient truly understands their current
health status and their resulting quality of life,” Dr
“Our Q-series of PROMs are questionnaires
developed using information provided by actual
patients who have experienced surgery and
a set of scientific methods to then accurately
measure outcomes of surgery from the patient’s
perspective,” she said.
“By measuring outcomes from the patient’s
perspective we can improve our health services
and empower our patients.”
Currently the Q-series of questionnaires have been
developed in the United States and Canada, with
Flinders Medical Centre being an early adopter of
the BREAST-Q in the Breast Reconstruction Unit by
Dr Nicola Dean and her team.
The Q series includes the BREAST-Q, FACE-Q,
BODY-Q and CLEFT-Q . With the development of
the HAND-Q, Flinders Medical Centre is at the
forefront of this innovative international project.
“I am extremely excited to be working with
the Q-team, who are international experts in
developing questionnaires according to best
scientific practices,” Dr Sierakowski said.
“Hand surgery patients have been and will continue
to be involved at every stage throughout the
development process to ensure that the HAND-Q is
engaging and meaningful to the patients who will
be using it,” she said.
Phase 1 of the HAND-Q has involved Dr
Sierakowski interviewing patients who have a
condition of their hand that has required surgery.
A variety of patients participated from both
Australia and Canada and these interviews are
designed to give patients a ‘voice’ about their own
individual experiences of surgery.
This information about patient’s first hand
experiences is being used to produce the first draft
of the HAND-Q.
Phase 2 will involve asking hand surgery patients to
complete the draft HAND-Q questionnaire.
“Currently, we’re actively recruiting until September
2018. The study will be held locally here at
Flinders Medical Centre as well as centres around
the world,” Dr Sierakowski said. Patient data is
being collected from centres in UK, USA, Canada,
Netherlands, France, India and Pakistan.
Flinders Medical Centre participants will provide
vital input into the development of this high quality
questionnaire. The HAND-Q will be designed for
use in multiple countries and aims to provide a
robust method of assessing outcome in the hand
Lynne Greenlees, of Mount Barker, is a participant
in the study and said she appreciated being asked
about how she felt.
“I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my hand
two years ago and it got very bad, very quickly.
I didn’t want exercises to try and live with the
condition – I wanted to solve it. It was helpful
being asked how I felt about that.”
Lynne underwent surgery where a tendon from her
arm was used to wrap around her thumb joint to
“I’m thrilled with the results. My thumb will never
be the same as it was, but I have back 90 percent
of movement and use.”
If you’re willing to contribute to this project,
and have (or had) a hand condition, go to
https://is.gd/HANDQuestionnaire or contact
firstname.lastname@example.org or 8204 5213.
‘Hand Q’ chief investigator
Dr Kyra Sierakowski.
10 / JULY 2018 / SOUTHERN HEALTH NEWS
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