Occupational upper extremity conditions: a detailed analysis of work-related outcomes

J Occup Rehabil. 2002 Sep;12(3):131-8. doi: 10.1023/a:1016886426612.


While work-related upper extremity conditions (WRUECs) cause almost 25% of lost time cases in the US, little is known about their long-term occupational consequences. A self-report survey was mailed to New Hampshire workers reporting a WRUEC one year prior to the study. Of the 72 (52%) valid respondents, 60% had lost > or = 1 week of work and 90% had returned to work. Almost 70% reported acute injury onset, and 26% had experienced a recurrence of their WRUEC. Both gradual-onset injuries and recurrences had worse outcomes. Recurrence was related to shorter job tenure, lower job satisfaction, and less satisfaction with medical care and insurer responses. Results imply that a single measure is insufficient to assess occupational outcomes subsequent to a WRUEC. The importance of secondary prevention was highlighted. There is a need for focus on gradual-onset injuries, as well as those acute-onset injuries with risk for recurrence.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Adult
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / complications
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • New Hampshire / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / complications
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Unemployment
  • Upper Extremity / injuries*
  • Work Capacity Evaluation