Workplace management of upper limb disorders: a systematic review

Finlay David Dick, Richard Graveling, Wendy Munro, Karen Walker-Bone, Guideline Development Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Upper limb pain is common among working-aged adults and a frequent cause of absenteeism.
AIMS: To systematically review the evidence for workplace interventions in four common upper limb disorders.
METHODS: Systematic review of English articles using Medline, Embase, Cinahl, AMED, Physiotherapy Evidence Database PEDro (carpal tunnel syndrome and non-specific arm pain only) and Cochrane Library. Study inclusion criteria were randomized controlled trials, cohort studies or systematic reviews employing any workplace intervention for workers with carpal tunnel syndrome, non-specific arm pain, extensor tenosynovitis or lateral epicondylitis. Papers were selected by a single reviewer and appraised by two reviewers independently using methods based on Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) methodology.
RESULTS: 1532 abstracts were identified, 28 papers critically appraised and four papers met the minimum quality standard (SIGN grading + or ++) for inclusion. There was limited evidence that computer keyboards with altered force displacement characteristics or altered geometry were effective in reducing carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. There was limited, but high quality, evidence that multi-disciplinary rehabilitation for non-specific musculoskeletal arm pain was beneficial for those workers absent from work for at least four weeks. In adults with tenosynovitis there was limited evidence that modified computer keyboards were effective in reducing symptoms. There was a lack of high quality evidence to inform workplace management of lateral epicondylitis.
CONCLUSIONS: Further research is needed focusing on occupational management of upper limb disorders. Where evidence exists, workplace outcomes (e.g. successful return to pre-morbid employment; lost working days) are rarely addressed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-25
Number of pages6
JournalOccupational Medicine
Volume61
Issue number1
Early online date2 Dec 2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

Fingerprint

Upper Extremity
Workplace
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Tennis Elbow
Tenosynovitis
Arm
Pain
Guidelines
Musculoskeletal Pain
Absenteeism
Libraries
Cohort Studies
Rehabilitation
Randomized Controlled Trials
Databases
Research

Keywords

  • evidence-based guideline
  • occupational health
  • upper limb disorders

Cite this

Dick, F. D., Graveling, R., Munro, W., Walker-Bone, K., & Guideline Development Group (2011). Workplace management of upper limb disorders: a systematic review. Occupational Medicine, 61(1), 19-25. https://doi.org/10.1093/occmed/kqq174

Workplace management of upper limb disorders : a systematic review. / Dick, Finlay David; Graveling, Richard ; Munro, Wendy; Walker-Bone, Karen; Guideline Development Group.

In: Occupational Medicine, Vol. 61, No. 1, 01.2011, p. 19-25.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dick, FD, Graveling, R, Munro, W, Walker-Bone, K & Guideline Development Group 2011, 'Workplace management of upper limb disorders: a systematic review', Occupational Medicine, vol. 61, no. 1, pp. 19-25. https://doi.org/10.1093/occmed/kqq174
Dick FD, Graveling R, Munro W, Walker-Bone K, Guideline Development Group. Workplace management of upper limb disorders: a systematic review. Occupational Medicine. 2011 Jan;61(1):19-25. https://doi.org/10.1093/occmed/kqq174
Dick, Finlay David ; Graveling, Richard ; Munro, Wendy ; Walker-Bone, Karen ; Guideline Development Group. / Workplace management of upper limb disorders : a systematic review. In: Occupational Medicine. 2011 ; Vol. 61, No. 1. pp. 19-25.
@article{aa394e7e0ad64d53b0a8c9f73fb510ed,
title = "Workplace management of upper limb disorders: a systematic review",
abstract = "BACKGROUND: Upper limb pain is common among working-aged adults and a frequent cause of absenteeism. AIMS: To systematically review the evidence for workplace interventions in four common upper limb disorders. METHODS: Systematic review of English articles using Medline, Embase, Cinahl, AMED, Physiotherapy Evidence Database PEDro (carpal tunnel syndrome and non-specific arm pain only) and Cochrane Library. Study inclusion criteria were randomized controlled trials, cohort studies or systematic reviews employing any workplace intervention for workers with carpal tunnel syndrome, non-specific arm pain, extensor tenosynovitis or lateral epicondylitis. Papers were selected by a single reviewer and appraised by two reviewers independently using methods based on Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) methodology. RESULTS: 1532 abstracts were identified, 28 papers critically appraised and four papers met the minimum quality standard (SIGN grading + or ++) for inclusion. There was limited evidence that computer keyboards with altered force displacement characteristics or altered geometry were effective in reducing carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. There was limited, but high quality, evidence that multi-disciplinary rehabilitation for non-specific musculoskeletal arm pain was beneficial for those workers absent from work for at least four weeks. In adults with tenosynovitis there was limited evidence that modified computer keyboards were effective in reducing symptoms. There was a lack of high quality evidence to inform workplace management of lateral epicondylitis. CONCLUSIONS: Further research is needed focusing on occupational management of upper limb disorders. Where evidence exists, workplace outcomes (e.g. successful return to pre-morbid employment; lost working days) are rarely addressed.",
keywords = "evidence-based guideline, occupational health, upper limb disorders",
author = "Dick, {Finlay David} and Richard Graveling and Wendy Munro and Karen Walker-Bone and {Guideline Development Group}",
year = "2011",
month = "1",
doi = "10.1093/occmed/kqq174",
language = "English",
volume = "61",
pages = "19--25",
journal = "Occupational Medicine",
issn = "0962-7480",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Workplace management of upper limb disorders

T2 - a systematic review

AU - Dick, Finlay David

AU - Graveling, Richard

AU - Munro, Wendy

AU - Walker-Bone, Karen

AU - Guideline Development Group

PY - 2011/1

Y1 - 2011/1

N2 - BACKGROUND: Upper limb pain is common among working-aged adults and a frequent cause of absenteeism. AIMS: To systematically review the evidence for workplace interventions in four common upper limb disorders. METHODS: Systematic review of English articles using Medline, Embase, Cinahl, AMED, Physiotherapy Evidence Database PEDro (carpal tunnel syndrome and non-specific arm pain only) and Cochrane Library. Study inclusion criteria were randomized controlled trials, cohort studies or systematic reviews employing any workplace intervention for workers with carpal tunnel syndrome, non-specific arm pain, extensor tenosynovitis or lateral epicondylitis. Papers were selected by a single reviewer and appraised by two reviewers independently using methods based on Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) methodology. RESULTS: 1532 abstracts were identified, 28 papers critically appraised and four papers met the minimum quality standard (SIGN grading + or ++) for inclusion. There was limited evidence that computer keyboards with altered force displacement characteristics or altered geometry were effective in reducing carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. There was limited, but high quality, evidence that multi-disciplinary rehabilitation for non-specific musculoskeletal arm pain was beneficial for those workers absent from work for at least four weeks. In adults with tenosynovitis there was limited evidence that modified computer keyboards were effective in reducing symptoms. There was a lack of high quality evidence to inform workplace management of lateral epicondylitis. CONCLUSIONS: Further research is needed focusing on occupational management of upper limb disorders. Where evidence exists, workplace outcomes (e.g. successful return to pre-morbid employment; lost working days) are rarely addressed.

AB - BACKGROUND: Upper limb pain is common among working-aged adults and a frequent cause of absenteeism. AIMS: To systematically review the evidence for workplace interventions in four common upper limb disorders. METHODS: Systematic review of English articles using Medline, Embase, Cinahl, AMED, Physiotherapy Evidence Database PEDro (carpal tunnel syndrome and non-specific arm pain only) and Cochrane Library. Study inclusion criteria were randomized controlled trials, cohort studies or systematic reviews employing any workplace intervention for workers with carpal tunnel syndrome, non-specific arm pain, extensor tenosynovitis or lateral epicondylitis. Papers were selected by a single reviewer and appraised by two reviewers independently using methods based on Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) methodology. RESULTS: 1532 abstracts were identified, 28 papers critically appraised and four papers met the minimum quality standard (SIGN grading + or ++) for inclusion. There was limited evidence that computer keyboards with altered force displacement characteristics or altered geometry were effective in reducing carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. There was limited, but high quality, evidence that multi-disciplinary rehabilitation for non-specific musculoskeletal arm pain was beneficial for those workers absent from work for at least four weeks. In adults with tenosynovitis there was limited evidence that modified computer keyboards were effective in reducing symptoms. There was a lack of high quality evidence to inform workplace management of lateral epicondylitis. CONCLUSIONS: Further research is needed focusing on occupational management of upper limb disorders. Where evidence exists, workplace outcomes (e.g. successful return to pre-morbid employment; lost working days) are rarely addressed.

KW - evidence-based guideline

KW - occupational health

KW - upper limb disorders

U2 - 10.1093/occmed/kqq174

DO - 10.1093/occmed/kqq174

M3 - Article

VL - 61

SP - 19

EP - 25

JO - Occupational Medicine

JF - Occupational Medicine

SN - 0962-7480

IS - 1

ER -