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Risk factors for specific upper limb disorders as compared with non-specific upper limb pain: assessing the utility of a structured examination schedule

Walker-Bone, Karen, Reading, Isabel, Coggon, David, Cooper, Cyrus and Palmer, Keith T. (2006) Risk factors for specific upper limb disorders as compared with non-specific upper limb pain: assessing the utility of a structured examination schedule Occupational Medicine, 56, (4), pp. 243-250. (doi:10.1093/occmed/kql016).

Record type: Article


Background Few community-based epidemiological investigations of upper limb disorders (ULDs) have classified cases by validated procedures involving a structured clinical examination.
Aim To compare risk factor profiles for different diagnostic categories of ULD using one such examination scheme.
Methods A questionnaire about upper limb pain and demographic, occupational and psychosocial risk factors was mailed to 10 264 adults from two English general practices, followed by standardized physical examination in those with arm or neck pain. Logistic regression was used to compare those with specific ULDs and non-specific arm pain with those who had no neck or arm symptoms.
Results There was a 59% response rate. A total of 1197 subjects with arm or neck pain underwent standardized physical examination and were classified as having one or more of 11 specific ULDs or non-specific regional pain. Among these, 250 subjects with specific ULDs and 176 with only non-specific arm pain were compared with 2248 subjects who had no neck or arm symptoms. Certain physical risk factors were more strongly associated with specific disorders than with non-specific pain. In comparison with pain-free subjects, the odds ratios (ORs) in keyboard users (1 h versus <1 h/day) were 3.1 (95% CI 1.3, 7.8) for hand–wrist tendonitis but 1.3 (0.8, 2.1) for non-specific hand–wrist pain. Other differential associations were found with age, sex, manual versus non-manual employment and smoking. Unexpectedly, low vitality was similarly associated with both specific disorders and non-specific pain.
Conclusion These findings suggest that the schedule may usefully distinguish disorders that differ in their association with physical risk factors.

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More information

Published date: 20 April 2006
Keywords: upper extremity, etiology, england, occupational diseases, employment, epidemiology, arm, classification, occupational, soft tissue rheumatism


Local EPrints ID: 62191
ISSN: 0962-7480
PURE UUID: cb1914c2-caf3-413b-b60f-2b716b6a21c4
ORCID for Karen Walker-Bone: ORCID iD
ORCID for David Coggon: ORCID iD
ORCID for Cyrus Cooper: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 10 Sep 2008
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:21

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