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1.  Prevention of musculoskeletal disorders in workers: classification and health surveillance – statements of the Scientific Committee on Musculoskeletal Disorders of the International Commission on Occupational Health 
The underlying purpose of this commentary and position paper is to achieve evidence-based recommendations on prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Such prevention can take different forms (primary, secondary and tertiary), occur at different levels (i.e. in a clinical setting, at the workplace, at national level) and involve several types of activities. Members of the Scientific Committee (SC) on MSDs of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) and other interested scientists and members of the public recently discussed the scientific and clinical future of prevention of (work-related) MSDs during five round-table sessions at two ICOH conferences (in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2009, and in Angers, France, in 2010). Approximately 50 researchers participated in each of the sessions. More specifically, the sessions aimed to discuss new developments since 1996 in measures and classification systems used both in research and in practice, and agree on future needs in the field.
The discussion focused on three questions: At what degree of severity does musculoskeletal ill health, and do health problems related to MSDs, in an individual worker or in a group of workers justify preventive action in occupational health? What reliable and valid instruments do we have in research to distinguish ‘normal musculoskeletal symptoms’ from ‘serious musculoskeletal symptoms’ in workers? What measures or classification system of musculoskeletal health will we need in the near future to address musculoskeletal health and related work ability?
Four new, agreed-upon statements were extrapolated from the discussions: 1. Musculoskeletal discomfort that is at risk of worsening with work activities, and that affects work ability or quality of life, needs to be identified. 2. We need to know our options of actions before identifying workers at risk (providing evidence-based medicine and applying the principle of best practice). 3. Classification systems and measures must include aspects such as the severity, frequency, and intensity of pain, as well as measures of impairment of functioning, which can help in prevention, treatment and prognosis. 4. We need to be aware of economic and/or socio-cultural consequences of classification systems and measures.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-109
PMCID: PMC3437218  PMID: 22721454
Occupation; Epidemiology; Prevention; Aetiology; Expert opinion; Occupational health; Public health; Rheumatology; Rehabilitation; Orthopaedics
2.  The WISTAH hand study: A prospective cohort study of distal upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders 
Background
Few prospective cohort studies of distal upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders have been performed. Past studies have provided somewhat conflicting evidence for occupational risk factors and have largely reported data without adjustments for many personal and psychosocial factors.
Methods/design
A multi-center prospective cohort study was incepted to quantify risk factors for distal upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders and potentially develop improved methods for analyzing jobs. Disorders to analyze included carpal tunnel syndrome, lateral epicondylalgia, medial epicondylalgia, trigger digit, deQuervain’s stenosing tenosynovitis and other tendinoses. Workers have thus far been enrolled from 17 different employment settings in 3 diverse US states and performed widely varying work. At baseline, workers undergo laptop administered questionnaires, structured interviews, two standardized physical examinations and nerve conduction studies to ascertain demographic, medical history, psychosocial factors and current musculoskeletal disorders. All workers’ jobs are individually measured for physical factors and are videotaped. Workers are followed monthly for the development of musculoskeletal disorders. Repeat nerve conduction studies are performed for those with symptoms of tingling and numbness in the prior six months. Changes in jobs necessitate re-measure and re-videotaping of job physical factors. Case definitions have been established. Point prevalence of carpal tunnel syndrome is a combination of paraesthesias in at least two median nerve-served digits plus an abnormal nerve conduction study at baseline. The lifetime cumulative incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome will also include those with a past history of carpal tunnel syndrome. Incident cases will exclude those with either a past history or prevalent cases at baseline. Statistical methods planned include survival analyses and logistic regression.
Discussion
A prospective cohort study of distal upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders is underway and has successfully enrolled over 1,000 workers to date.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-90
PMCID: PMC3476983  PMID: 22672216
Epidemiology; Ergonomics; Cohort; Carpal tunnel syndrome; Strain index; TLV for HAL
3.  Prevalence of chronic musculoskeletal disorders in elderly Brazilians: a systematic review of the literature 
Background
Population ageing is a worldwide phenomenon that has recently challenged public healthcare systems. The knowledge of the burden of chronic musculoskeletal disorders in elders is still limited, particularly in the developing world. This systematic review aimed to investigate the prevalence of chronic musculoskeletal disorders in elderly Brazilians.
Methods
A comprehensive literature search was performed in five electronic databases (from inception to January 2012) and completed by additional searches in reference lists. Two review authors independently selected the eligible studies and extracted data on participants’ characteristics and rates of chronic musculoskeletal disorders. One review author extracted methodological quality data. We performed a critical synthesis of the results, which were grouped into the diagnoses “chronic musculoskeletal pain” or “specific musculoskeletal diagnoses”.
Results
Twenty five studies reporting on a total of 116,091 elderly Brazilians were included. Eight studies (32%) were of high methodological quality. There was a large variation in the measure of prevalence used by individual studies and in their definition of chronic pain. Prevalence estimates reached 86% for chronic musculoskeletal pain in any location. Studies investigating multiple pain sites found the lower limb and the spine to be the most prevalent complaints (50% each). Arthritis and rheumatism (including osteoarthritis) were the most prevalent specific musculoskeletal diagnoses (9% to 40%), followed by herniated disc (6% to 27%).
Conclusions
Despite the growth of the elderly population worldwide, high-quality research on the burden of chronic musculoskeletal disorders in the elderly is still scarce. Future healthcare research focusing on this age group should be a priority in developing countries since their public healthcare systems are not yet fully prepared to accommodate the needs of an aging population.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-82
PMCID: PMC3419071  PMID: 22642899
Prevalence; Epidemiology; Chronic pain; Musculoskeletal disorders; Elderly
4.  Musculoskeletal disorders among construction workers: a one-year follow-up study 
Background
Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are an important cause of functional impairments and disability among construction workers. An improved understanding of MSDs in different construction occupations is likely to be of value for selecting preventive measures. This study aimed to survey the prevalence of symptoms of MSDs, the work-relatedness of the symptoms and the problems experienced during work among two construction occupations: bricklayers and supervisors.
Methods
We randomly selected 750 bricklayers and 750 supervisors resident in the Netherlands in December 2009. This sample was surveyed by means of a baseline questionnaire and a follow-up questionnaire one year later. The participants were asked about complaints of the musculoskeletal system during the last six months, the perceived work-relatedness of the symptoms, the problems that occurred during work and the occupational tasks that were perceived as causes or aggravating factors of the MSD.
Results
Baseline response rate was 37%, follow-up response was 80%. The prevalence of MSDs among 267 bricklayers and 232 supervisors was 67% and 57%, respectively. Complaints of the back, knee and shoulder/upper arm were the most prevalent among both occupations. Irrespective of the body region, most of the bricklayers and supervisors reported that their complaints were work-related. Complaints of the back and elbow were the most often reported among the bricklayers during work, whereas lower arm/wrist and upper leg complaints were the most often reported among the supervisors. In both occupations, a majority of the participants perceived several occupational physical tasks and activities as causes or aggravating factors for their MSD. Recurrent complaints at follow-up were reported by both bricklayers (47% of the complaints) and supervisors (31% of the complaints). Participants in both occupations report that mainly back and knee complaints result in additional problems during work, at the time of follow-up.
Conclusions
A substantial number of the bricklayers and the supervisors report musculoskeletal disorders, mainly back, knee and shoulder/upper arm complaints. The majority of the bricklayers and half of the supervisors believe that their complaints are work-related. Irrespective of occupation, participants with MSDs report substantial problems during work. Workplace intervention measures aimed at occupational physical tasks and activities seem justified for both occupations.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-196
PMCID: PMC3489781  PMID: 23061990
Construction industry; Longitudinal study; Work-related musculoskeletal disorders
5.  Advanced practice physiotherapy in patients with musculoskeletal disorders: a systematic review 
Background
The convergence of rising health care costs and physician shortages have made health care transformation a priority in many countries resulting in the emergence of new models of care that often involve the extension of the scope of practice for allied health professionals. Physiotherapists in advanced practice/extended scope roles have emerged as key providers in such new models, especially in settings providing services to patients with musculoskeletal disorders. However, evidence of the systematic evaluation of advance physiotherapy practice (APP) models of care is scarce. A systematic review was done to update the evaluation of physiotherapists in APP roles in the management of patients with musculoskeletal disorders.
Methods
Structured literature search was conducted in 3 databases (Medline, Cinahl and Embase) for articles published between 1980 and 2011. Included studies needed to present original quantitative data that addressed the impact or the effect of APP care. A total of 16 studies met all inclusion criteria and were included. Pairs of raters used four structured quality appraisal methodological tools depending on design of studies to analyse included studies.
Results
Included studies varied in designs and objectives and could be categorized in four areas: diagnostic agreement or accuracy compared to medical providers, treatment effectiveness, economic efficiency or patient satisfaction. There was a wide range in the quality of studies (from 25% to 93%), with only 43% of papers reaching or exceeding a score of 70% on the methodological quality rating scales. Their findings are however consistent and suggest that APP care may be as (or more) beneficial than usual care by physicians for patients with musculoskeletal disorders, in terms of diagnostic accuracy, treatment effectiveness, use of healthcare resources, economic costs and patient satisfaction.
Conclusions
The emerging evidence suggests that physiotherapists in APP roles provide equal or better usual care in comparison to physicians in terms of diagnostic accuracy, treatment effectiveness, use of healthcare resources, economic costs and patient satisfaction. There is a need for more methodologically sound studies to evaluate the effectiveness APP care.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-107
PMCID: PMC3599404  PMID: 22716771
6.  Magnitude of impact and healthcare use for musculoskeletal disorders in the paediaric: a population-based study 
Background
Although musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are among the most prevalent chronic conditions, minimal attention has been paid to the paediatric population. The aim of this study is to describe the annual prevalence of healthcare contacts for MSD by children and youth age 0-19 years, including type of MSD, care delivery setting and the specialty of the physician consulted.
Methods
Analysis of data on all children with healthcare contacts for MSD in Ontario, Canada using data from universal health insurance databases on ambulatory physician and emergency department (ED) visits, same-day outpatient surgery, and in-patient admissions for the fiscal year 2006/07. The proportion of children and youth seeing different physician specialties was calculated for each physician and condition grouping. Census data for the 2006 Ontario population was used to calculate person visit rates.
Results
122.1 per 1,000 children and youth made visits for MSD. The majority visited for injury and related conditions (63.2 per 1,000), followed by unspecified MSD complaints (33.0 per 1,000), arthritis and related conditions (27.7 per 1,000), bone and spinal conditions (14.2 per 1,000), and congenital anomalies (3 per 1,000). Injury was the most common reason for ED visits and in-patient admissions, and arthritis and related conditions for day-surgery. The majority of children presented to primary care physicians (74.4%), surgeons (22.3%), and paediatricians (10.1%). Paediatricians were more likely to see younger children and those with congenital anomalies or arthritis and related conditions.
Conclusion
One in eight children and youth make physician visits for MSD in a year, suggesting that the prevalence of MSD in children may have been previously underestimated. Although most children may have self-limiting conditions, it is unknown to what extent these may deter involvement in physical activity, or be indicators of serious and potentially life-threatening conditions. Given deficiencies in medical education, particularly of primary care physicians and paediatricians, it is important that training programs devote an appropriate amount of time to paediatric MSD.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-98
PMCID: PMC3493363  PMID: 22691633
7.  Perceived physical exertion during healthcare work and prognosis for recovery from long-term pain in different body regions: Prospective cohort study 
Background
The prevalence of musculoskeletal pain is high among healthcare workers. Knowledge about risk factors at work is needed to efficiently target preventive strategies. This study estimates the prognosis for recovery from long-term musculoskeletal pain in different body regions among healthcare workers with different levels of perceived physical exertion during healthcare work.
Methods
Prospective cohort study among 4,977 Danish female healthcare workers responding to a baseline and follow-up questionnaire in 2005 and 2006, respectively. We defined long-term pain, short-term pain and pain-free as > 30, 1–30 and 0 days with pain during the last year, and included in the analyses only those with long-term pain at baseline in the low back (N=1,089), neck/shoulder (N=1,400) and knees (N = 579), respectively. Using cumulative logistic regression analysis, the prognosis for recovering from long-term pain at baseline to short-term pain or pain-free at follow-up in the respective body regions when experiencing moderate or light (reference: strenuous) physical exertion during healthcare work was modeled.
Results
Among those with long-term pain at baseline 34% (low back), 29% (neck/shoulders), and 29% (knees) recovered to short-term pain at follow-up and 7% (low back), 8% (neck/shoulders), and 17% (knees) recovered to being pain-free. After adjusting for potential confounders (age, BMI, tenure, smoking status, leisure physical activity and psychosocial work conditions), light perceived physical exertion during healthcare work was associated with improved prognosis for recovery from long-term pain in the low back (OR 1.42, 95% CI 1.01 – 1.99) and neck/shoulders (OR 1.89, 95% CI 1.43 – 2.50), but not in the knees. Moderate physical exertion was not associated with improved prognosis for recovery from long-term pain for any of the body regions.
Conclusion
In the present study, healthcare workers with light perceived physical exertion during healthcare work had the best prognosis for recovery from long-term pain in the low back and neck/shoulders. This suggests that efforts to reduce perceived exertion during work may improve recovery from chronic pain.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-253
PMCID: PMC3540008  PMID: 23253634
Chronic pain; Musculoskeletal disorders; Neck pain; Back pain; Knee pain; Risk factors; Longitudinal; Eldercare
8.  The greatest risk for low-back pain among newly educated female health care workers; body weight or physical work load? 
Background
Low back pain (LBP) represents a major socioeconomic burden for the Western societies. Both life-style and work-related factors may cause low back pain. Prospective cohort studies assessing risk factors among individuals without prior history of low back pain are lacking. This aim of this study was to determine risk factors for developing low back pain (LBP) among health care workers.
Methods
Prospective cohort study with 2,235 newly educated female health care workers without prior history of LBP. Risk factors and incidence of LBP were assessed at one and two years after graduation.
Results
Multinomial logistic regression analyses adjusted for age, smoking, and psychosocial factors showed that workers with high physical work load had higher risk for developing LBP than workers with low physical work load (OR 1.8; 95% CI 1.1–2.8). In contrast, workers with high BMI were not at a higher risk for developing LBP than workers with a normal BMI.
Conclusion
Preventive initiatives for LBP among health care workers ought to focus on reducing high physical work loads rather than lowering excessive body weight.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-87
PMCID: PMC3404961  PMID: 22672781
Prospective cohort study; Low back pain; Physical work load; Health care work; Musculoskeletal disorders; Body mass index
9.  Prevalence of multisite musculoskeletal symptoms: a French cross-sectional working population-based study 
Background
The musculoskeletal disorders in working population represent one of the most worrying work-related health issues at the present time and although the very great majority of available data on the subject focus on musculoskeletal disorders defined by anatomical site, a growing number of studies indicate the low prevalence of disorders strictly confined to a specific anatomical site. The objective of this study was to describe the prevalence and characteristics of multisite musculoskeletal symptoms (multisite MS) in a large French working population.
Methods
This study was performed on surveillance data of the cross-sectional survey (2002–2005) conducted by a network of occupational physicians in the working population of the Loire Valley region (from 20 to 59 years old). Data concerning MS were collected in the waiting room of the occupational physicians by means of the self-administrated standardized NORDIC questionnaire.
Results
The study population comprised 3,710 workers (2,162 men (58%) and 1,548 women (42%)) with a mean age of 38.4 years (standard deviation: 10.4 years). The prevalence of MS during the past 12 months was 83.8% with 95% confidence interval of [82.8-85.3] for men and 83.9% [82.0-85.7] for women. The prevalence of subacute MS (lasting at least 30 days) over the past 12 months was 32.8% [30.9-34.8] for men and 37.3% [34.9-39.7] for women. Two-thirds of workers reported MS in more than one anatomical site and about 20% reported MS lasting at least 30 days in more than one anatomical site. The anatomical sites most frequently associated with other MS were the upper back, hip, elbow and neck. The majority of these multisite MS were widespread, involving at least two of the three anatomical regions (upper limb, axial region and lower limb).
Conclusions
The frequency and extent of multisite MS reported by workers are considerable. Further research must be conducted in this field in order to provide a better understanding of the characteristics and determinants of these multisite MS.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-122
PMCID: PMC3495201  PMID: 22818516
10.  Inter- and intra-observer reliability of clinical movement-control tests for marines 
Background
Musculoskeletal disorders particularly in the back and lower extremities are common among marines. Here, movement-control tests are considered clinically useful for screening and follow-up evaluation. However, few studies have addressed the reliability of clinical tests, and no such published data exists for marines. The present aim was therefore to determine the inter- and intra-observer reliability of clinically convenient tests emphasizing movement control of the back and hip among marines. A secondary aim was to investigate the sensitivity and specificity of these clinical tests for discriminating musculoskeletal pain disorders in this group of military personnel.
Methods
This inter- and intra-observer reliability study used a test-retest approach with six standardized clinical tests focusing on movement control for back and hip. Thirty-three marines (age 28.7 yrs, SD 5.9) on active duty volunteered and were recruited. They followed an in-vivo observation test procedure that covered both low- and high-load (threshold) tasks relevant for marines on operational duty. Two independent observers simultaneously rated performance as “correct” or “incorrect” following a standardized assessment protocol. Re-testing followed 7–10 days thereafter. Reliability was analysed using kappa (κ) coefficients, while discriminative power of the best-fitting tests for back- and lower-extremity pain was assessed using a multiple-variable regression model.
Results
Inter-observer reliability for the six tests was moderate to almost perfect with κ-coefficients ranging between 0.56-0.95. Three tests reached almost perfect inter-observer reliability with mean κ-coefficients > 0.81. However, intra-observer reliability was fair-to-moderate with mean κ-coefficients between 0.22-0.58. Three tests achieved moderate intra-observer reliability with κ-coefficients > 0.41. Combinations of one low- and one high-threshold test best discriminated prior back pain, but results were inconsistent for lower-extremity pain.
Conclusions
Our results suggest that clinical tests of movement control of back and hip are reliable for use in screening protocols using several observers with marines. However, test-retest reproducibility was less accurate, which should be considered in follow-up evaluations. The results also indicate that combinations of low- and high-threshold tests have discriminative validity for prior back pain, but were inconclusive for lower-extremity pain.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-263
PMCID: PMC3552977  PMID: 23273285
Military; Motor control; Reproducibility; Screening; Sensitivity; Specificity; Validity
11.  Identifying work ability promoting factors for home care aides and assistant nurses 
Background
In workplace health promotion, all potential resources needs to be taken into consideration, not only factors relating to the absence of injury and the physical health of the workers, but also psychological aspects. A dynamic balance between the resources of the individual employees and the demands of work is an important prerequisite. In the home care services, there is a noticeable trend towards increased psychosocial strain on employees at work. There are a high frequency of work-related musculoskeletal disorders and injuries, and a low prevalence of sustainable work ability. The aim of this research was to identify factors promoting work ability and self-efficacy in care aides and assistant nurses within home care services.
Methods
This study is based on cross-sectional data collected in a municipality in northern Sweden. Care aides (n = 58) and assistant nurses (n = 79) replied to a self-administered questionnaire (response rate 46%). Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were performed to assess the influence of several independent variables on self-efficacy (model 1) and work ability (model 2) for care aides and assistant nurses separately.
Results
Perceptions of personal safety, self-efficacy and musculoskeletal wellbeing contributed to work ability for assistant nurses (R2adj of 0.36, p < 0.001), while for care aides, the safety climate, seniority and age contributed to work ability (R2adj of 0.29, p = 0.001). Self-efficacy was associated with the safety climate and the physical demands of the job in both professions (R2adj of 0.24, p = 0.003 for care aides), and also by sex and age for the assistant nurses (R2adj of 0.31, p < 0.001).
Conclusions
The intermediate factors contributed differently to work ability in the two professions. Self-efficacy, personal safety and musculoskeletal wellbeing were important for the assistant nurses, while the work ability of the care aides was associated with the safety climate, but also with the non-changeable factors age and seniority. All these factors are important to acknowledge in practice and in further research. Proactive workplace interventions need to focus on potentially modifiable factors such as self-efficacy, safety climate, physical job demands and musculoskeletal wellbeing.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-1
PMCID: PMC3292971  PMID: 22236253
12.  The effect of continuous ultrasound on chronic non-specific low back pain: a single blind placebo-controlled randomized trial 
Background
Non-specific chronic low back pain (NSCLBP) is one of the most common musculoskeletal disorders around the world including Iran. One of the most widely used modalities in the field of physiotherapy is therapeutic ultrasound (US). Despite its common use, there is still inconclusive evidence to support its effectiveness in patients with NSCLBP. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of continuous US compared with placebo US additional to exercise therapy for patients with NSCLBP.
Methods
In this single blind placebo controlled study, 50 patients with NSCLBP were randomized into two treatment groups: 1) continuous US (1 MHz &1.5 W/cm2) plus exercise 2) placebo US plus exercise. Patients received treatments for 4 weeks, 10 treatment sessions, 3 times per week, every other day. Treatment effects were assessed in terms of primary outcome measures: 1) functional disability, measured by Functional Rating Index, and 2) global pain, measured by a visual analog scale. Secondary outcome measures were lumbar flexion and extension range of motion (ROM), endurance time and rate of decline in median frequency of electromyography spectrum during a Biering Sorensen test. All outcome variables were measured before, after treatment, and after one-month follow-up. An intention to treat analysis was performed. Main effects of Time and Group as well as their interaction effect on outcome measures were investigated using repeated measure ANOVA.
Results
Analysis showed that both groups had improved regarding function (FRI) and global pain (VAS) (P < .001). Lumbar ROM as well as holding time during the Sorensen test and median frequency slope of all measured paravertebral muscles did not change significantly in either group (P > .05). Improvement in function and lumbar ROM as well as endurance time were significantly greater in the group receiving continuous US (P < .05).
Conclusions
The study showed that adding continuous US to a semi supervised exercise program significantly improved function, lumbar ROM and endurance time. Further studies including a third group of only exercise and no US can establish the possible effects of placebo US.
Trial registration
NTR2251
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-192
PMCID: PMC3537701  PMID: 23031570
Low back pain; Ultrasound; Functional disability; Pain; Muscle endurance; Range of motion
13.  Evaluation of postural balance in postmenopausal women and its relationship with bone mineral density- a cross sectional study 
Background
Low bone mineral density (BMD) and falls are common problems encountered in the postmenopausal women. The purpose was to evaluate the association between postural balance and BMD in postmenopausal women and its relation to risk for falls.
Methods
In this cross-sectional study, 225 women in amenorrhea > 12 months and age ≥ 45 years were included and divided, according to BMD, in T-score values > -2.0 SD (n = 140) and ≤ -2 SD (n = 85). Those with neurological or musculoskeletal disorders, history of vestibulopathies, uncorrected visual deficit or drug use that could affect balance were excluded. History of falls (last 24 months), clinical and anthropometric characteristics were evaluated. Postural balance was assessed by stabilometry (force platform). For statistical analysis were used Wilcoxon's Test, Chi-Square Test and logistic regression method for fall risk (Odds Ratio-OR).
Results
Patients with BMD > -2.0 SD were younger, with shorter time since menopause, and showed higher BMI as compared to those with low BMD (≤ -2 SD) (p < 0.05). It was observed that 57.8% of the participants reported fall episodes without significant difference distribution between the groups (p = 0.055). No differences were found from the comparison between the groups (p > 0.05) for stabilometric parameters. Risk for falls increased with age (OR 1.07; CI 95% 1.01-1.13), current smoking (OR 2.19; CI 95% 1.22-3.21) and corrected visual deficit (OR 9.06; CI 95% 1.14-4.09). In contrast, hormone therapy (HT) use was significantly associated with reduced risk for falls (OR 0.48; CI 95% 0.26-0.88).
Conclusions
In postmenopausal women, BMD did not show association with postural balance or risk for falls. Age, smoking and corrected visual deficit were clinical indicators of risk for falls whereas HT use showed to be a protective factor.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-2
PMCID: PMC3277468  PMID: 22248040
Menopause; Postural Balance; Bone Mineral Density; Falls
14.  Perceived exertion, comfort and working technique in professional computer users and associations with the incidence of neck and upper extremity symptoms 
Background
The aim of this study was to investigate whether perceived exertion, perceived comfort and working technique is associated with the incidence of neck and upper extremity symptoms among professional computer users.
Methods
At baseline a self-administered questionnaire was distributed to 853 participants from 46 different work sites (382 men and 471 women) who, at baseline, had been free from neck and upper extremity symptoms during the preceding month. Work-related exposures, individual factors, and symptoms from the neck and upper extremities were assessed. Observations of working technique were performed by ergonomists using an ergonomic checklist. Incidence data were collected by means of 10 monthly questionnaires, asking for information on the occurrence of neck, shoulder and arm/hand symptoms. Perceived exertion was rated on a modified Borg RPE scale ranging from 0 (very, very light) to 14 (very, very strenuous). Perceived comfort was rated on a 9-point scale ranging from -4 (very, very poor) to +4 (very, very good) in relation to the chair, computer screen, keyboard, and computer mouse.
Results
The median follow up time was 10.3 months. The incidence of symptoms from the neck, shoulders and arm/hands were 50, 24 and 34 cases per 100 person years, respectively.
Higher perceived exertion in the neck, shoulder or arm/hands was associated with an increased risk of developing symptoms in the corresponding body region. Moreover, a dose-response relationship between the level of exertion and the risk of developing symptoms was recorded for all three regions. There was an association between low comfort and an increased risk for neck symptoms, but not for shoulder and arm/hand symptoms, although a trend towards such an association (not statistically significant) could be seen. Working technique was, in this study, not associated with the risk of developing symptoms in any of the investigated body regions.
Conclusion
There was a strong association between high perceived exertion and the development of neck, shoulder, and arm/hand symptoms. Moreover, there was an association between poor perceived comfort and neck pain. Surveillance of computer users may include perceived exertion and comfort to target individuals at risk for neck and upper extremity symptoms.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-38
PMCID: PMC3362766  PMID: 22436251
Computer work; Perceived exertion; Perceived comfort; Working technique; neck and upper extremity disorders
15.  Population-based consultation patterns in patients with shoulder pain diagnoses 
Background
To assess the annual consultation prevalence and new onset consultation rate for doctor-diagnosed shoulder pain conditions.
Methods
We identified all residents in the southernmost county in Sweden who received a shoulder pain diagnosis during 2006 (ICD-10 code M75). In subjects who did not consult due to such disorders during 2004 and 2005, we estimated the new onset consultation rate. The distribution of specific shoulder conditions and the length of the period of repeated consultation were calculated.
Results
Annual consultation prevalence was 103/10 000 women and 98/10 000 men. New onset consultation rate was 80/10 000 women (peak in age 50–59 at 129/10 000) and 74/10 000 men (peak in age 60–69 at 116/10 000). About one fifth of both genders continued to consult more than three months after initial presentation, but only a few percent beyond two years. Rotator cuff - and impingement syndromes were the most frequent diagnoses.
Conclusion
The annual consultation prevalence for shoulder pain conditions (1%) was similar in women and men, and about two thirds of patients consulted a doctor only once. Impingement and rotator cuff syndromes were the most frequent diagnoses.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-238
PMCID: PMC3552995  PMID: 23190941
16.  No red cell alloimmunization or change of clinical outcome after using fresh frozen cancellous allograft bone for acetabular reconstruction in revision hip arthroplasty: a follow up study 
Background
Possible immunization to blood group or other antigens and subsequent inhibition of remodeling or incorporation after use of untreated human bone allograft was described previously. This study presents the immunological, clinical and radiological results of 30 patients with acetabular revisions using fresh frozen non-irradiated bone allograft.
Methods
AB0-incompatible (donor-recipient) bone transplantation was performed in 22 cases, Rh(D) incompatible transplantation in 6 cases. The mean follow up of 23 months included measuring Harris hip score and radiological examination with evaluation of remodeling of the bone graft, implant migration and heterotopic ossification. In addition, all patients were screened for alloimmunization to Rh blood group antigens.
Results
Compared to the whole study group, there were no differences in clinical or radiological measurements for the groups with AB0- or Rh(D)-incompatible bone transplantation. The mean Harris Hip Score was 80.6. X-rays confirmed total remodeling of all allografts with no acetabular loosening. At follow up, blood tests revealed no alloimmunization to Rh blood group donor antigens.
Conclusions
The use of fresh frozen non-irradiated bone allograft in acetabular revision is a reliable supplement to reconstruction. The risk of alloimmunization to donor-blood group antigens after AB0- or Rh-incompatible allograft transplantation with a negative long-term influence on bone-remodeling or the clinical outcome is negligible.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-187
PMCID: PMC3477012  PMID: 23009246
Acetabular revision; Allograft bone; Remodeling; Alloimmunization; AB0; Rhesus
17.  The effectiveness of a chair intervention in the workplace to reduce musculoskeletal symptoms. A systematic review 
Background
Prolonged sitting has been associated with musculoskeletal dysfunction. For desk workers, workstation modifications frequently address the work surface and chair. Chairs which can prevent abnormal strain of the neuromuscular system may aid in preventing musculo-skeletal pain and discomfort. Anecdotally, adjustability of the seat height and the seat pan depth to match the anthropometrics of the user is the most commonly recommended intervention. Within the constraints of the current economic climate, employers demand evidence for the benefits attributed to an investment in altering workstations, however this evidence-base is currently unclear both in terms of the strength of the evidence and the nature of the chair features. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the evidence for the effectiveness of chair interventions in reducing workplace musculoskeletal symptoms.
Methods
Pubmed, Cinahl, Pedro, ProQuest, SCOPUS and PhysioFocus were searched. ‘Ergonomic intervention’, ‘chair’, ‘musculoskeletal symptoms’, ‘ergonomics’, ‘seated work’ were used in all the databases. Articles were included if they investigated the influence of chair modifications as an intervention; participants were in predominantly seated occupations; employed a pre/post design (with or without control or randomising) and if the outcome measure included neuro-musculoskeletal comfort and/or postural alignment. The risk of bias was assessed using a tool based on The Cochrane Handbook.
Results
Five studies were included in the review. The number of participants varied from 4 to 293 participants. Three of the five studies were Randomised Controlled Trials, one pre and post-test study was conducted and one single case, multiple baselines (ABAB) study was done. Three studies were conducted in a garment factory, one in an office environment and one with university students. All five studies found a reduction in self-reported musculoskeletal pain immediately after the intervention. Bias was introduced due to poor randomization procedures and lack of concealed allocation. Meta-analysis was not possible due to the heterogeneity of the data (differing population, intervention and outcomes across studies).
Conclusion
The findings of this review indicate a consistent trend that supports the role of a chair intervention to reduce musculoskeletal symptoms among workers who are required to sit for prolonged periods. However the amount, level and quality of the evidence are only moderate therefore we cannot make strong recommendations until further trials are conducted. The review also highlights gaps: for example in showing whether the effectiveness of a chair intervention has long-term impact, particularly with respect to musculoskeletal symptoms, as well as the recurrence of symptoms and the consequent cost of care.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-145
PMCID: PMC3552974  PMID: 22889123
18.  Reproducibility of a 3-dimensional gyroscope in measuring shoulder anteflexion and abduction 
Background
Few studies have investigated the use of a 3-dimensional gyroscope for measuring the range of motion (ROM) in the impaired shoulder. Reproducibility of digital inclinometer and visual estimation is poor. This study aims to investigate the reproducibility of a tri axial gyroscope in measurement of anteflexion, abduction and related rotations in the impaired shoulder.
Methods
Fifty-eight patients with either subacromial impingement (27) or osteoarthritis of the shoulder (31) participated. Active anteflexion, abduction and related rotations were measured with a tri axial gyroscope according to a test retest protocol. Severity of shoulder impairment and patient perceived pain were assessed by the Disability of Arm Shoulder and Hand score (DASH) and the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). VAS scores were recorded before and after testing.
Results
In two out of three hospitals patients with osteoarthritis (n = 31) were measured, in the third hospital patients with subacromial impingement (n = 27).
There were significant differences among hospitals for the VAS and DASH scores measured before and after testing. The mean differences between the test and retest means for anteflexion were −6 degrees (affected side), 9 (contralateral side) and for abduction 15 degrees (affected side) and 10 degrees (contralateral side).
Bland & Altman plots showed that the confidence intervals for the mean differences fall within −6 up to 15 degrees, individual test - retest differences could exceed these limits.
A simulation according to ‘Generalizability Theory’ produces very good coefficients for anteflexion and related rotation as a comprehensive measure of reproducibility. Optimal reproducibility is achieved with 2 repetitions for anteflexion.
Conclusions
Measurements were influenced by patient perceived pain. Differences in VAS and DASH might be explained by different underlying pathology. These differences in shoulder pathology however did not alter the reproducibility of testing. The use of a tri axial gyroscope is a simple non invasive and reproducible method for the recording of shoulder anteflexion and abduction. Movements have to be repeated twice for reproducible results.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-135
PMCID: PMC3532192  PMID: 22846646
Reproducibility; Shoulder; Tri axial gyroscope; Range of motion; Shoulder function; Generalizability theory
19.  Effects of kinesiotherapy, ultrasound and electrotherapy in management of bilateral knee osteoarthritis: prospective clinical trial 
Background
Although recent advances in knee osteoarthritis (OA) treatment and evaluation were achieved, to the best of our knowledge, few studies have evaluated the longitudinal effect of therapeutic modalities on the functional exercise capacity of patients with knee OA. The purpose was to investigate the effects of kinesiotherapy and electrotherapy on functional exercise capacity, evaluated using the six-minute walk test (6-MWT) in patients with bilateral knee OA. Secondary measurements included range of motion (ROM), severity of knee pain (VAS), and a measure of perceived health and physical function, evaluated using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities (WOMAC) Osteoarthritis Index.
Methods
A total of 40 women with bilateral knee OA were assigned to three groups: kinesiotherapy (KIN, n = 16), transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS, n = 12), or ultrasound (US, n = 10). The groups underwent 12 weeks of intervention twice per week. The participants were subjected to the 6-MWT, ROM, VAS and WOMAC index. These tests were performed before and after the intervention. The study was focused on outpatients and was carried out at Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil.
Results
At follow-up, the KIN and US groups had significantly higher 6-MWT distances (19.8 ± 21.7 and 14.1 ± 22.5%, respectively) compared with their respective pre-intervention values. All treatments were effective for reducing pain and improving the WOMAC index.
Conclusions
We demonstrated that the 6-MWT is a tool that can be used to evaluate improvements in the functional exercise capacity of patients submitted to a clinical intervention.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-182
PMCID: PMC3475115  PMID: 22999098
Kinesiotherapy; Ultrasound; Electrotherapy; Knee osteoarthritis
20.  Wear, bone density, functional outcome and survival in vitamin E-incorporated polyethylene cups in reversed hybrid total hip arthroplasty: design of a randomized controlled trial 
Background
Aseptic loosening of total hip arthroplasties is generally caused by periprosthetic bone resorption due to tissue reactions on polyethylene wear particles. In vitro testing of polyethylene cups incorporated with vitamin E shows increased wear resistance. The objective of this study is to compare vitamin E-stabilized highly cross-linked polyethylene with conventional cross-linked polyethylene in “reversed hybrid” total hip arthroplasties (cemented all-polyethylene cups combined with uncemented femoral stems). We hypothesize that the adjunction of vitamin E leads to a decrease in polyethylene wear in the long-term. We also expect changes in bone mineral density, less osteolysis, equal functional scores and increased implant survival in polyethylene cemented cups incorporated with vitamin E in the long-term.
Design
A double-blinded randomized controlled trial will be conducted. Patients to be included are aged under 70, suffer from non-inflammatory degenerative joint disease of the hip and are scheduled for a primary total hip arthroplasty. The study group will receive a reversed hybrid total hip arthroplasty with a vitamin E-stabilized highly cross-linked polyethylene cemented cup. The control group will receive a reversed hybrid total hip arthroplasty with a conventional cross-linked polyethylene cemented cup. Radiological follow-up will be assessed at 6 weeks and at 1, 3, 5, 7 and 10 years postoperatively, to determine polyethylene wear and osteolysis. Patient-reported functional status (HOOS), physician-reported functional status (Harris Hip Score) and patients’ physical activity behavior (SQUASH) will also be assessed at these intervals. Acetabular bone mineral density will be assessed by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) at 6 weeks and at 1 year and 2 years postoperatively. Implant survival will be determined at 10 years postoperatively.
Discussion
In vitro results of vitamin E-stabilized polyethylene are promising, showing increased wear resistance. However, controlled clinical follow-up data are not available at this moment.
This randomized controlled trial has been designed to determine wear, bone mineral density, functional outcome and survival in reversed hybrid total hip arthroplasty comparing cemented vitamin E-stabilized highly cross-linked polyethylene cups with cemented conventional cross-linked polyethylene cups.
Trial registration
Dutch Trial Registry NTR3049
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-178
PMCID: PMC3517763  PMID: 22994935
21.  Hinders for continued work among persons with fibromyalgia 
Background
Work disability is common among women with fibromyalgia (FM). The aim of the study was to investigate what health problems and work-related difficulties lead to hinders for continued work among women with FM.
Methods
A qualitative interview study. Twenty-seven gainfully employed women with FM participated in five focus group interviews. Their median age was 52 years, ranging from 33 to 62. The transcribed interviews were analyzed by content analysis.
Results
Health problems and work-related demands were identified. Limited physical capacity, increased stress and an increased need of rest were the major health problems, while physical, psychosocial and work organizational demands were the main work-related problems. Personal factors and factors related to family influenced the strategies used to manage the imbalance between the health problems and work-related demands.
Conclusions
Limited physical capacity and an increased need of rest made it difficult for these women to manage the physical, psychosocial and organizational work demands. Adjustment of the work tasks and work environment were the main factors influencing whether the women with FM could work or not.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-96
PMCID: PMC3413509  PMID: 22686369
Pain; Disability; Fibromyalgia; Work; Qualitative research
22.  The allogeneic umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells regulate the function of T helper 17 cells from patients with rheumatoid arthritis in an in vitro co-culture system 
Background
Previous in vivo studies have shown that mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transplantation significantly improves the condition of a number of autoimmune diseases including autoimmune cerebrospinal meningitis, multiple sclerosis, glomerulonephritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.
Methods
To investigate the immunoregulatory effect of stem cell transplantation, human umbilical cord MSCs were co-cultured with peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Orphan nuclear receptor gamma (ROR-γ) mRNA and protein expression was detected with real-time PCR and Western blotting. Interleukin (IL)-17, IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) in the cell culture supernatant were measured using a flow cytometric bead capture method.
Results
After 72 hours of co-culture, the mRNA and protein expression levels of ROR-γ in co-cultured PBMCs were decreased compared with that in PBMC of RA patients cultured alone (p < 0.05). Moreover, the decrement was positively related to the disease activity of RA (p < 0.05). Decreased secretion of IL-17, TNF-α and IL-6 were also found in co-culture supernatants of PBMCs from patients with severe and moderate disease activity, but not in supernatant from PBMCs cultured alone. The decreased cytokine expression levels were positively correlated to the concentrations of MSCs. In contrast, PBMCs from healthy controls or patients with mild RA did not show significant differences in ROR-γ expression or cytokine secretion following co-culture with MSCs as compared with those cultured alone.
Conclusions
In vitro co-culture with MSCs down-regulated the inflammatory response of PBMCs from RA patients with severe disease activity, but had no significant effect on PBMCs from healthy controls or patients with mild disease activity, suggesting that the immunoregulatory role of MSCs may associate with the occurrence of inflammatory mediators.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-249
PMCID: PMC3551778  PMID: 23237239
Mesenchymal stem cell; Peripheral blood mononuclear cells; Rheumatoid arthritis; T helper 17 cells
23.  Effectiveness of low-level laser therapy for patients with carpal tunnel syndrome: design of a randomized single-blinded controlled trial 
Background
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common neuropathy in the upper extremity, resulting from the compression of the median nerve at wrist level. Clinical studies are essentials to present evidence on therapeutic resources use at early restoration on peripheral nerve functionality. Low-level laser therapy has been widely investigated in researches related to nerve regeneration. Therefore, it is suggested that the effect of low-level laser therapy associated with other conservative rehabilitation techniques may positively affect symptoms and overall hand function in compressive neuropathies such as carpal tunnel syndrome. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of low-level laser therapy in addition to orthoses therapy and home orientations in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome.
Methods/Design
Patients older than 18 years old will be included, with clinical diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome, excluding comorbidies. A physiotherapist will conduct intervention, with a blinding evaluator. Randomization will be applied to allocate the patients in each group: with association or not to low-level laser therapy. All of them will be submitted to orthoses therapy and home orientations. Outcome will be assessed through: pain visual analogic scale, Semmes Weinstein monofilaments™ threshold sensibility test, Pinch Gauge™, Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire and two point discrimination test.
Discussion
This paper describes the design of a randomized controlled trial, which aim to assess the effectiveness of conservative treatment added to low-level laser therapy for patients with carpal tunnel syndrome.
Trial registration
Brazilian Clinical Trials Registry (ReBec) - 75ddtf / Universal Trial Number: U1111-1121-5184
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-248
PMCID: PMC3552983  PMID: 23237204
Carpal tunnel syndrome; Low-level laser therapy; Rehabilitation
24.  The impact of secondary hyperparathyroidism on the efficacy of antiresorptive therapy 
Background
The aim of the present study was to assess whether the efficacy of bisphosphonate treatment is influenced by PTH levels measured in newly diagnosed osteoporotic patients and to identify the threshold value, beyond which PTH level negatively influences therapeutic efficacy.
Methods
One hundred and thirty-eight osteoporotic patients were enrolled into the study. All subjects underwent laboratory screening, bone densitometry with DEXA, and x-ray imaging. The changes in bone density were evaluated after a mean follow-up period of 13.37 ± 1.29 months. Correlation analysis was performed on the clinical data of patients, the percentage changes of BMD values, and the PTH levels measured at the beginning of study, using SPSS software.
Results
The mean age of the subjects was 64.82 ± 10.51 years, and the female-to-male ratio was 116/22. Baseline BMD value measured with AP DEXA scanning was 0.854 ± 0.108 g/cm2 in the L1-4 vertebrae and 0.768 ± 0.115 g/cm2 in the left femoral neck. By the end of the follow-up period, these values changed to 0.890 ± 0.111 g/cm2 and 0.773 ± 0.111 g/cm2, respectively. We found a statistically significant, negative correlation between PTH levels and the percentage changes of lumbar BMD values measured at the end of the follow-up (correlation coefficient R2 = 0.121, p < 0.0001). The analysis of frequency histograms suggested that negative effects on bone might be expected above a PTH level of 60 pg/mL (7.3 pmol/L).
Conclusion
Our findings imply that a baseline PTH level over 60 ng/mL can reduce the efficacy of bisphosphonate treatment.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-244
PMCID: PMC3529113  PMID: 23227959
D vitamin status; PTH level; Antiresorptive therapy; Efficacy
25.  Replacement of endoprosthetic implants within a two years follow-up period: a statutory health insurance routine data analysis 
Background
The statutory health insurance system embodies a large amount of data on the treatments of their members. Depending on joint, prosthesis type, patient activity and comorbidity, knee and hip replacements can last up to 20 years. Based on statutory health insurance data the main object of this analysis was to investigate how high the early revision rate of replacements actually is.
Methods
The number of replacements in the years 2005 and 2006 has been extracted from the TK database for hip (OPS-Code 5-820, n = 20,875), knee (OPS 5-822, n = 13,466), upper limbs (OPS 5-824, n = 901), and lower limbs (OPS 5-826) replacements. This data has then been related to each consecutive operation (i. e. change or excision of joint endoprosthesis) over a joint-specific observation period of two years.
Results
In 3.7% of the cases joint replacements stood for less than 2 years (hip 3.5%, knee 3.8%, upper limbs 6.5%, and lower limbs 5.5%). There is a significantly positive correlation between the treatment data of the hospitals and the outcome as to low rates of reoperations at early stages. The main reason for short lifetime (76 - 81%) is mechanical failure.
Conclusion
The percentage of joint endoprostheses with significantly short lifetimes has been unexpectedly high. The de facto lifetimes of joint endoprostheses thus often do not match the manufacturers’ information. The authors strongly support the idea of a national endoprosthesis register as such a register could give detailed information on
firstly whether these deficits are due to material defects, osteolysis or dislocation and
secondly which products are mainly affected.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-223
PMCID: PMC3551674  PMID: 23157842
Endoprostheses; Hip joint; Knee joint; Routine data analysis; Arthroplasty register

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