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PM R. 2015 Jun;7(6):571-5. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2014.12.014. Epub 2015 Jan 16.

Ulnar Neuropathy Among Active Workers Based Upon Hand Diagram Ratings.

Author information

1
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Veterans Administration Health System, 2215 Fuller Rd. (117), Ann Arbor, MI 48105; Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Michigan Health Systems, Ann Arbor, MI; Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; Center for Ergonomics, College of Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI(∗). Electronic address: rawerner@umich.edu.
2
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI(†).
3
Department of Public Health, Washington University, St. Louis, MO(‡).
4
Center for Ergonomics, College of Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI(§).

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Limited studies have estimated the prevalence of ulnar neuropathy (UN) in the workplace. Hand diagrams have been demonstrated to have a good sensitivity and specificity when attempting to identify patients with UN.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the prevalence and associated risk factors for UN among active workers based on results of a hand diagram, and to determine the reliability of hand diagram scoring.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional study.

SETTING:

Seven different industrial and clerical work sites.

METHODS:

A total of 501 active workers were screened. Subjects completed a hand diagram and the Job Content Questionnaire, and had ergonomic assessment of their job. Each hand diagram was scored independently by 2 raters.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Rating of the hand diagram for UN.

RESULTS:

Interrater reliability of scoring the hand diagram for UN was very high. The estimated prevalence of UN was 3.6%. Suspected UN was associated with positioning of the elbow but not by contact stress at the elbow or force at the hand. Smokers had a lower prevalence, but smokers with suspected UN had higher-pack year histories. Workers with suspected UN had a greater sense of job insecurity and lower job satisfaction rating.

CONCLUSIONS:

Hand diagram rating has a high interrater reliability. Suspected UN has a relatively high prevalence among active workers in comparison to prior estimates of the prevalence of UN among the general population and is not strongly associated with ergonomic factors.

PMID:
25600624
DOI:
10.1016/j.pmrj.2014.12.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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