There is a paucity of validated tests to quantify hand function impairment due to carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). The aim of this study was to test the validity and reliability of the Purdue Pegboard Test (PPT) in CTS patients. We compared 190 CTS patients with 122 healthy, age-matched controls. CTS severity was determined based on electrophysiologic parameters and the Levine Self-Assessment Questionnaire. The time to complete the PPT and the test-retest reliability were tested. The test-retest reliability was high with an intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.91. Compared to healthy controls, the CTS patients were significantly slower. Although the functional performance generally declined with increasing severity of electrophysiologic abnormalities, the correlation between hand function decline and symptom severity in the young and middle-aged groups was low. We conclude that the PPT is a valid and reliable tool to quantify functional impairment caused by CTS. It can be a useful outcome measure in young and middle-aged patients.
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