Review of applicability of existing functional status measures to the study of workers with musculoskeletal disorders of the neck and upper limb
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Both epidemiologic studies of the factors that contribute to the development of work-related musculoskeletal disorders of the neck and upper limb and intervention studies that test the effectiveness of workplace ergonomic and organizational changes are needed to provide empiric evidence for preventive strategies. This study reviews the relevance and comprehensiveness of existing functional status instruments for epidemiologic studies of work-related neck and upper limb disorders. Twelve domains were identified as the major areas of life affected by workers' neck and upper extremity disorder(s): work, household and family responsibilities, self-care, transportation/driving, sexual activity, sleep, social activities, recreational activities, mood, self-esteem, financial effects, and iatrogenic effects of assessments and treatment. Fifty-two functional status instruments were identified. Of these, 21 met the specified criteria as potentially relevant and were rated on the 3-point scale for relevance and comprehensiveness for each domain. None of the instruments covered all 12 domains adequately.
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