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Using Job-title Based Physical Exposures from O*NET in an Epidemiological Study of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Published Date:
    Feb 2014
  • Source:
    Hum Factors. 56(1):166-177.
Filetype[PDF-424.24 KB]


Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    24669551
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC4036526
  • Description:
    Objective

    We studied associations between job title based measures of force and repetition and incident carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

    Background

    Job exposure matrices (JEMs) are not commonly used in studies of work-related upper extremity disorders.

    Methods

    We enrolled newly-hired workers into a prospective cohort study. We assigned a Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code to each job held and extracted physical work exposure variables from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). CTS case definition required both characteristic symptoms and abnormal median nerve conduction.

    Results

    751 (67.8%) of 1107 workers completed follow-up evaluations. 31 subjects (4.4%) developed CTS during an average of 3.3 years of follow-up. Repetitive Motion, Static Strength, and Dynamic Strength from the most recent job held were all significant predictors of CTS when included individually as physical exposures in models adjusting for age, gender, and BMI. Similar results were found using time-weighted exposure across all jobs held during the study. Repetitive Motion, Static Strength, and Dynamic Strength were correlated, precluding meaningful analysis of their independent effects.

    Conclusion

    This study found strong relationships between workplace physical exposures assessed via a JEM and CTS, after adjusting for age, gender, and BMI. Though job title based exposures are likely to result in significant exposure misclassification, they can be useful for large population studies where more precise exposure data are not available.

    Application

    JEMs can be used as a measure of workplace physical exposures for some studies of musculoskeletal disorders.

  • Document Type:
  • Funding:
    R01 OH008017/OH/NIOSH CDC HHS/United States
    UL1 RR024992/RR/NCRR NIH HHS/United States
    UL1 TR000448/TR/NCATS NIH HHS/United States
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