Predictors of upper extremity symptoms and functional impairment among workers employed for 6 months in a new job

Am J Ind Med. 2008 Dec;51(12):932-40. doi: 10.1002/ajim.20625.


Background: We sought to identify personal and work-related predictors of upper extremity symptoms and related functional impairment among 1,108 workers employed for 6 months in a new job.

Methods: We collected data at baseline and 6-month follow-up using self-administered questionnaires. Multivariate logistic regression models were created for each outcome variable. Predictors included personal risk factors, physical work exposures and psychosocial factors.

Results: Independent predictors for upper extremity symptoms at 6-month follow-up were age, Caucasian race, female gender, baseline history of UE symptoms, and job tasks involving wrist bending or forceful gripping. Independent predictors for functional impairment were baseline history and severity of UE symptoms, wrist bending, and social support.

Conclusions: Both personal and work-related factors were independent predictors of upper extremity symptoms and functional impairment in this working population. We found different risk factors for symptoms than for functional impairment related to symptoms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / etiology
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / physiopathology
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Missouri / epidemiology
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / etiology
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Health
  • Occupations*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Psychology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Distribution
  • Time Factors
  • Upper Extremity*