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BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2008 Feb 26;9:26. doi: 10.1186/1471-2474-9-26.

Individual and occupational risk factors for knee osteoarthritis - study protocol of a case control study.

Author information

1
Institute of Occupational Health, Safety and Ergonomics (ASER) at the University of Wuppertal, Corneliusstrasse 31, 42329 Wuppertal, Germany. klussmann@uni-wuppertal.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the frequent and functionally impairing disorders of the musculoskeletal system. In the literature, a number of occupational risk factors are discussed as being related to the development and progress of knee joint diseases, e.g. working in kneeling or squatting posture, lifting and carrying of heavy weights. The importance of the single risk factors and the possibility of prevention are currently under discussion. Besides the occupational factors, a number of individual risk factors are important, too. The distinction between work-related factors and individual factors is crucial in assessing the risk and in deriving preventive measures in occupational health. In existing studies, the occupational stress is determined mainly by surveys in employees and/or by making assumptions about individual occupations. Direct evaluation of occupational exposure has been performed only exceptionally. The aim of the research project ArGon is the assessment of different occupational factors in relation to individual factors (e.g. constitutional factors, leisure time activities, sports), which might influence the development and/or progression of knee (OA). The project is designed as a case control study.

METHODS/DESIGN:

To raise valid data about the physical stress associated with occupational and leisure time activities, patients with and without knee OA are questioned by means of a standardised questionnaire and an interview. The required sample size was estimated to 800 cases and an equal number of controls. The degree and localisation of the knee cartilage or joint damages in the cases are documented on the basis of radiological, arthroscopic and/or operative findings in a patient record. Furthermore, occupational exposure is analysed at selected workplaces. To evaluate the answers provided in the questionnaire, work analysis is performed.

DISCUSSION:

In this research project, specific information on the correlation of occupational and individual factors on the one hand and the current state of knee OA on the other will be analysed in order to describe preventive measures. In addition, information regarding a better evaluation of various forms of physical stress in different occupations will be available. This might lead to more effective prevention strategies.

PMID:
18302740
PMCID:
PMC2292715
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2474-9-26
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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