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Physical capacity and psychological mood in association with self-reported work ability in vibration-exposed patients with hand symptoms.

Journal article
Authors Maria Edlund
Lars Gerhardsson
Mats Hagberg
Published in Journal of occupational medicine and toxicology (London, England)
Volume 7
Issue 1
Pages 22
ISSN 1745-6673
Publication year 2012
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Pages 22
Language en
Keywords Quantitative test, Work Ability Index, WAI, Mental condition, HADS, Vibration, Hand symptoms, Grip strength, Manual dexterity
Subject categories Health Sciences


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to investigate whether self-reports of work ability correlated to the results of quantitative tests measuring physical capacity and a questionnaire assessing psychological mood in vibration-exposed patients with hand symptoms. METHODS: The participants comprised 47 patients (36 men and eleven women) with exposure to hand vibration and vascular and/or neurological symptoms in the hands. They performed several quantitative tests (manual dexterity, hand grip strength, finger strength) and completed the Work Ability Index (WAI) and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) questionnaires. RESULTS: Correlation analysis revealed statistically significant associations between the WAI results, the HADS indices, hand grip and finger strength, and manual dexterity measured using the Purdue Pegboard(R). Multiple regression analysis revealed age and HADS indices as the strongest predictors of work ability. CONCLUSIONS: The patient's age and psychological mood may be stronger predictors of work ability compared with results from tests measuring physical capacity of the hands in vibration-exposed patients with hand symptoms. When using the WAI as an instrument for assessing work ability in these patients, health care providers need to be more aware of the impact of the psychological mood.

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