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Comparison of self-reported and expert-observed physical activities at work in a general population.
Nordstrom DL; Vierkant RA; Layde PM; Smith MJ
Am J Ind Med 1998 Jul; 34(1):29-35
Concerns about exposure assessment quality have impeded research to identify risk factors for ergonomic disorders. We compared self-reported and expert-observed estimates of work-related physical factors for participants in a study of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). We analyzed data from 61 subjects, including 28 CTS cases and 33 controls randomly samples from a case-control study with 417 participants. For 11 posture and manual materials handling factors, the median difference in mean exposure between self-reported and expert-observed exposure at work was less than 1/2 hour a day. Measurements by the two methods in this study agreed more often than expected by chance (median kappa 0.31 in cases and 0.28 in controls). Kappa differed significantly by case-control status for two factors: bending at the waist (kappa 0.79 in cases versus 0.28 in controls, P = 0.01) and twisting of the forearm (kappa 0.45 in cases versus -0.02 in controls, P = 0.02). Although imperfect, exposure information collected from workers' self-reports is useful for many ergonomic epidemiology studies.
Data-processing; Task-performance; Questionnaires; Occupational-exposure; Carpal-tunnel-syndrome; Hand-injuries; Hand-protection; Risk-factors; Ergonomics; Work-environment; Case-studies; Epidemiology; Statistical-analysis; Author Keywords: data collection; interviews; task performance and analysis; questionnaires; reproducibility of results; occupational exposures; posture; time perception; carpal tunnel syndrome
David L. Nordstrom, The Arthritis Center, Boston University School of Medicine, 715 Albany St., A203, Boston, MA 02118
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Marshfield Medical Research & Education Foundation
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division