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
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Marshfield Medical Research & Education Foundation