- 2017;20;E711-E719A Pilot Cross-Sectional Study of Postpartum Wrist Pain in an Urban Chinese Population: Its Prevalence and Risk Factors
Samuel Y.S. Wong, MD, Roger Y. Chung, PhD, Vincent C.H. Chung, PhD, Lucia W.Y. Tam, BSc, Lyan L.Y. Chow, BSc, Benjamin H.K. Yip, PhD, Dicken C.C. Chan, MSc, Wing-Hung Tam, MD, and Regina W.S. Sit, MBBS.
BACKGROUND: Wrist pain after childbirth is commonly encountered in clinical practice. Little is known about the prevalence of this musculoskeletal disorder which is important to overall maternal health.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the prevalence of and risk factors for de novo wrist pain in women after childbirth.
STUDY DESIGN: A pilot cross-sectional survey.
SETTING: A telephone interview was conducted 2 months after childbirth among women who delivered at a tertiary hospital in Hong Kong.
METHODS: The prevalence of de novo wrist pain was recorded; its severity was rated using the numerical rating scale and Patient-Rated Wrist Evaluation (PRWE) with pain and functional subscale scores.
RESULTS: In total, 259 women aged 32.8 ± 4.0 years participated; 149 women (57.5%) developed wrist pain after childbirth and 125 (84%) had persistent wrist pain 2 months postpartum. The majority had moderate (43.5%) to severe (21%) wrist pain. Bilateral involvement was common (56.8%), with most of the pain (59.3%) located on the radial side of the wrist. Primiparity was associated with wrist pain development (odds ratio 2.62, 95% confidence interval 1.33 – 5.16, P = 0.01); pain intensity was negatively correlated with the baby’s birth weight (beta = -1.059, P = 0.013). Mean PRWE pain and function scores were 22.8 ± 10.3 and 15.6 ± 10.7, respectively.
LIMITATIONS: Cross-sectional survey is prone to volunteer bias, though recent literature indicates that the bias may not substantially affect the internal validity of the study.
CONCLUSIONS: Wrist pain is prevalent after childbirth; future studies may consider looking into its exact pathology, long-term consequences, and overall effect on maternal health.
KEY WORDS: Wrist pain, DeQuervain disease, postpartum, childbirth, mothers, prevalence, cross sectional study, survey