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Am Ann Deaf. 1992 Mar;137(1):40-3.

Interpreter's wrist. Repetitive stress injury and carpal tunnel syndrome in sign language interpreters.

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Cameron University, Lawton, Oklahoma.


Forty interpreters attending a regional Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf conference completed a questionnaire regarding symptoms related to repetitive stress injury (RSI), a generic classification of problems that occur after extensive, repetitive motion. RSIs, including the most prevalent form, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), were surveyed. The vast majority (87.5%) of the interpreters in the sample reported that they had at sometime experienced at least two symptoms associated with RSI. Some (12.5%) who had CTS reported that they had been misdiagnosed. When asked how many other interpreters they knew with RSI problems, they reported, on average, that they knew more than four others. The data indicate that RSI is a severe problem among sign language interpreters and warrants immediate action. The term interpreter's wrist may best describe the malady.

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