The Impact of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome on Work Status: Implications of Job Characteristics for Staying on the Job


This prospective study tested the contribution of occupational factors to a multifactorial predictive model of work status among patients with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). The study recruited a community-wide sample of patients and included cases that were non-occupational as well as occupational in etiology. At baseline and follow-up 18 months later, trained interviewers administered a structured telephone questionnaire to 102 participants, that included items on demographics, medical history, psychosocial, and occupational factors. Multivariate logistic regression analyses indicated that patients presenting with CTS were more likely to continue working if they had modifications to their jobs, worked for employers with fewer than 250 employees, and held jobs not characterized by the frequent use of force. We also found that White (non-Hispanic) patients were more likely to continue working than those from other ethnic groups. Our findings also suggest that job strain may contribute to earlier changes in work status following diagnosis. The receipt of worker compensation was not found to be a significant predictor of work status. Workplace assessment and job modification appear to be important aspects of care for the worker presenting with CTS, regardless of whether the CTS is occupationally caused or not.

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Faucett, J., Blanc, P.D. & Yelin, E. The Impact of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome on Work Status: Implications of Job Characteristics for Staying on the Job. J Occup Rehabil 10, 55–69 (2000).

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  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • work disability
  • musculoskeletal
  • job strain
  • ergonomics
  • job modification