Natural history of upper extremity musculoskeletal symptoms and resulting work limitations over 3 years in a newly hired working population

Bethany T. Gardner, Ann Marie Dale, Alexis Descatha, Bradley Evanoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:: To describe the proportions of workers with upper extremity (UE) symptoms and work limitations because of symptoms in a newly hired working population over a 3-year study period and to describe transitions between various outcome states. METHODS:: A total of 827 subjects completed repeat self-reported questionnaires including demographics, medical and work history, symptoms, and work status. Outcomes of interest were UE symptoms and work limitations because of symptoms. RESULTS:: Up to 72% of workers reported symptoms at least once during the study, with 12% reporting persistent symptoms and 27% reporting fluctuating symptoms; 31% reported work limitations at least once, with 3% reporting consistent work limitations and 8% reporting fluctuating limitations. CONCLUSIONS:: UE symptoms and work limitations are common among workers and dynamic in their course. A better understanding of the natural course of symptoms is necessary for targeted interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)588-594
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Volume56
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2014

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