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Methodological limitations in the study of video display terminal use and upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders.

Authors
Gerr-F; Marcus-M; Ortiz-DJ
Source
Am J Ind Med 1996 Jun; 29(6):649-656
NIOSHTIC No.
00231820
Abstract
The limitations and methodology inherent in human factors and epidemiological studies of upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders and video display terminal (VDT) use were considered. Human factors studies, while frequently being used to question the safety of data entry tasks, have suffered from the limitation of having a small number of subjects, and short term exposure under conditions found in the laboratory, and the questionable practice of using short term outcomes to predict chronic health effects. Difficulties in interpreting data taken from epidemiologic studies usually have been traced to limitations in the methodology established in the research outlines. These difficulties in epidemiologic studies relate to obtaining a poor measurement of exposure and health outcomes and neglecting potentially confounding variables. Some studies have improved the measures of VDT usage but these improvements have not resulted in improved consistencies in the findings. The authors stress the need for additional studies attempting to clarify exposure and effect relationships by well conducted epidemiologic studies. Research should examine associations between VDT use and upper extremity disorders but only when measures of both exposure and adverse health effects are standard, objective, and valid.
Keywords
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Epidemiology; Keyboard-operators; Computer-equipment; Office-workers; Risk-factors; Job-stress; Physical-stress; Repetitive-work; Cumulative-trauma-disorders
Contact
Epidemiology & Biomathematics Emory University 1599 Clifton Road, NE Atlanta, GA 30329
CODEN
AJIMD8
Publication Date
19960601
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Amount
2021838
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
1996
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-03160
Issue of Publication
6
ISSN
0271-3586
Source Name
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
State
GA
Performing Organization
Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
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