An interpretative phenomenological analysis of the psychological ramifications of hand-arm vibration syndrome

J Health Psychol. 2010 May;15(4):533-42. doi: 10.1177/1359105309356365.


With a substantial number of individuals diagnosed with Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) and the preponderance of research focused on the medical and paramedical issues, the psychological and mental health sequelae of HAVS are largely neglected within the published literature. A series of focus groups and interviews were conducted involving nine people who had been diagnosed with HAVS. Transcripts of these interviews were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Four key themes were identified within the discourse of individuals affected by HAVS: machismo; coping; psychological impacts; and the development of support services for HAVS. Clinical implications are briefly discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Fear
  • Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Psychology
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Social Isolation
  • Social Support
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Unemployment / psychology