Background: Surveys have identified a dramatically rising incidence of work-related upper extremity cumulative trauma disorders (UECTDs). Outcome studies have addressed time lost from work and cost of compensation; omitting other significant consequences. We assess health, functional and family outcomes.
Methods: We identified 537 Workers' Compensation UECTD claimants. A computer-assisted telephone questionnaire was used to elicit symptom prevalence, functional impairment, depressive symptoms (CES-D scale), employment status.
Results: One to 4 years post-claim, respondents reported persistent symptoms severe enough to interfere with work (53%), home/recreation activities (64%) and sleep (44%). Only 64% of responses to the activities of daily living scale items indicated "normal" function. Job loss was reported by 38% of respondents, and depressive symptoms by 31%.
Conclusions: Work-related UECTDs result in persisting symptoms and difficulty in performing simple activities of daily living, impacting home life even more than work. Job loss, symptoms of depression, and family disruption were common.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.