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Functional limitations in workers with hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS)

Functional limitations in workers with hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS)

Occupational Medicine 68(7): 478-481

Hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) is a chronic occupational disease affecting workers exposed to hand-transmitted vibration. However, limited information exists on task-related disability experienced by workers with HAVS. This study was conducted to characterize the impact of HAVS on task-related disability and daily life activities. A retrospective chart review was undertaken of difficulty in carrying out activities reported by workers with HAVS who had been assessed in an Occupational Medicine clinic in 2015. Prior to their clinical assessment, the workers had been asked to complete an open-ended questionnaire regarding activities they were having difficulty performing in the domains of personal care, household activities and recreational activities or hobbies. Data from 107 workers diagnosed with HAVS were obtained through the retrospective chart review. The activities most affected included: getting dressed (n = 72), lawn maintenance (n = 61), fishing (including ice fishing) (n = 56), snow removal (n = 36), washing the car (n = 26) and doing the dishes (n = 25). These findings reported in an open-ended fashion by workers with HAVS provide a better understanding of the impact of HAVS on specific activities of daily living in comparison to highly structured questionnaires lacking any open-ended responses. Understanding the implications of HAVS on activities of daily living will contribute to the provision of patient-centred care, by enabling health care providers to effectively support HAVS patients, based on workers' actual experiences of functional limitations.

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Accession: 065164631

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PMID: 29939364

DOI: 10.1093/occmed/kqy097

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