Journal of Occupational Health
Online ISSN : 1348-9585
Print ISSN : 1341-9145
Carpal tunnel syndrome among laboratory technicians in relation to personal and ergonomic factors at work
Mohamed El-HelalyHanan H. BalkhyLaura Vallenius
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2017 Volume 59 Issue 6 Pages 513-520


Objectives: Work-related carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) has been reported in different occupations, including laboratory technicians, so this study was carried out to determine the prevalence and the associated personal and ergonomic factors for CTS among laboratory technicians. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 279 laboratory technicians at King Fahd Hospital, Saudi Arabia, who filled in a self-administered questionnaire, including questions regarding their demographic criteria, occupational history, job tasks, workplace tools, ergonomic factors at work, and symptoms suggestive of CTS. Physical examinations and electrodiagnostic studies were carried out for those who had symptoms suggestive of CTS to confirm the diagnosis. Univariate and multivariate analysis were performed for both personal and physical factors in association with confirmed CTS among laboratory technicians. Results: The prevalence of CTS among the laboratory technicians was 9.7% (27/279). The following were the statistically significant risk factors for CTS among them: gender (all cases of CTS were female, P=0.00), arm/hand exertion (OR: 7.96; 95% CI: 1.84-34.33), pipetting (OR: 7.27; 95% CI: 3.15-16.78), repetitive tasks (OR: 4.60; 95% CI: 1.39-15.70), using unadjustable chairs or desks (OR: 3.35; 95% CI: 1.23-9.15), and working with a biosafety cabinet (OR: 2.49; 95% CI: 1.11-5.59). CTS cases had significant longer work duration (17.9 ± 5.6 years) than CTS non-case (11.5 ± 7.4 yeas) with low OR (1.108). Conclusion: This study demonstrates some personal and ergonomic factors associated with CTS among the laboratory technicians, including female gender, arm/hand exertion, pipetting, repetitive tasks, working with a biosafety cabinet, and an unadjusted workstation.

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2017 by the Japan Society for Occupational Health
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