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Work. 2010;36(2):157-66. doi: 10.3233/WOR-2010-1017.

Actual versus perceived lifting ability in healthy young men (18-25 years).

Author information

1
Occupational Therapy, School of Health & Human Sciences, Southern Cross University, Tweed Heads, NSW, Australia. ev.innes@scu.edu.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Men under 25 years are at high risk of back injuries caused by manual handling. Self reports and functional capacity evaluations are commonly used to determine a worker's lifting capacity, however, amongst uninjured individuals, conflicting views exist regarding how perceived physical functioning matches actual functioning in the absence of fear of pain and/or re-injury. The aim of this study was to compare self-reports and actual lifting performance in a group of healthy young men aged 18-25 years. METHOD/PARTICIPANTS: A correlational prospective design compared perceived lifting capacity, using self-report and the Spinal Function Sort, and actual lifting capacity, using the EPIC Lift Capacity test in 31 subjects.

RESULTS:

Subjects' self-reported lifting capacity varied more widely than their actual scores, indicating that they were less accurate at predicting their lifting performance using the self-report measure. One third of subjects were able to accurately self-report their lifting performance, approximately one-third underestimated, and the remaining third overestimated their lifting ability. Only two significant relationships were identified between self-reported and actual lifting performance for frequent knuckle-shoulder and floor-shoulder lifts. These correlations were weak and well below the 0.75 level considered necessary to be clinically significant.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study found that self-report measures are not suitable when used in isolation. It is therefore recommended that self-report measures are used in conjunction with functional capacity evaluations to determine lifting capacity.

PMID:
20634610
DOI:
10.3233/WOR-2010-1017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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