Agreement between clinical examination and quantitative tests of neurologic function.
Steenland-K; Dick-R; Fine-L
Am J Ind Med 2001 Apr; 39(4):361-368
Quantitative neurological tests are often cheaper and easier than clinical examinations, and provide continuous data which may discriminate between exposed and nonexposed groups with more sensitivity than dichotomous (normal/abnormal) examination data. We compare clinical examinations and analogous quantitative tests for arm tremor, postural sway, and vibrotactile sensitivity (finger and toe), for 384 subjects. The "abnormal" clinical outcomes studied were relatively common (range, 3-36%), and did not result in impairment of daily activity for affected subjects. All the quantitative tests were reasonably good predictors of the corresponding clinical outcome. The most predictive test was for toe vibrotactile sensitivity. The probability of an abnormal clinical result for those in the worst quartile for the toe test was 0.63, compared with 0.36 for all subjects. Our results suggest that certain quantitative tests might be used in epidemiologic studies instead of a physical examination.
Neurological-system; Epidemiology; Sensitivity-testing; Exposure-levels; Quantitative-analysis;
Author Keywords: neurologic tests; epidemiology; neurologic exam
Kyle Steenland, National Institutue for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226-1998
Research Tools and Approaches; Surveillance Research Methods
American Journal of Industrial Medicine