Some hand therapy patients struggle to absorb key messages regarding their condition or treatment plan for multiple reasons. They may be distracted or overwhelmed by the timing (e.g. in the early days post injury or surgery) or environment (e.g. busy outpatient clinic) in which information is given to them. In addition, they may have specific beliefs and attitudes about their condition, pain, expected treatment, and their own power to influence the outcome. The authors of this study noticed substantial variation in patients reports of symptom intensity and magnitude of disability, and wanted to explore whether this variation could be explained by personal or circumstantial factors.