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Questionnaire versus direct technical measurements in assessing postures and movements of the head, upper back, arms and hands

Hansson, Gert-Åke LU ; Balogh, Istvan LU ; Bystrom, J U; Ohlsson, Kerstina LU ; Nordander, Catarina LU ; Asterland, P; Sjolander, S; Rylander, Lars LU ; Winkel, J and Skerfving, Staffan LU (2001) In Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health 27(1). p.30-40
Abstract
OBJECTIVES: This study compares questionnaire-assessed exposure data on work postures and movements with direct technical measurements. METHODS: Inclinometers and goniometers were used to make full workday measurements of 41 office workers and 41 cleaners, stratified for such factors as musculoskeletal complaints. The subjects answered a questionnaire on work postures of the head, back, and upper arms and repeated movements of the arms and hands (3-point scales). The questionnaire had been developed on the basis of a previously validated one. For assessing worktasks and their durations, the subjects kept a 2-week worktask diary. Job exposure was individually calculated by time-weighting the task exposure measurements according to the... (More)
OBJECTIVES: This study compares questionnaire-assessed exposure data on work postures and movements with direct technical measurements. METHODS: Inclinometers and goniometers were used to make full workday measurements of 41 office workers and 41 cleaners, stratified for such factors as musculoskeletal complaints. The subjects answered a questionnaire on work postures of the head, back, and upper arms and repeated movements of the arms and hands (3-point scales). The questionnaire had been developed on the basis of a previously validated one. For assessing worktasks and their durations, the subjects kept a 2-week worktask diary. Job exposure was individually calculated by time-weighting the task exposure measurements according to the diary. RESULTS: The agreement between the self-assessed and measured postures and movements was low (kappa = 0.06 for the mean within the occupational groups and kappa = 0.27 for the whole group). Cleaners had a higher measured workload than office workers giving the same questionnaire response. Moreover, the subjects with neck-shoulder complaints rated their exposure to movements as higher than those without complaints but with the same measured mechanical exposure. In addition, these subjects also showed a general tendency to rate their postural exposure as higher. The women rated their exposure higher than the men did. CONCLUSIONS: The questionnaire-assessed exposure data had low validity. For the various response categories the measured exposure depended on occupation. Furthermore, there was a differential misclassification due to musculoskeletal complaints and gender. Thus it seems difficult to construct valid questionnaires on mechanical exposure for establishing generic exposure-response relations in epidemiologic studies, especially cross-sectional ones. Direct technical measurements may be preferable. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health
volume
27
issue
1
pages
30 - 40
publisher
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health
external identifiers
  • pmid:11266144
  • scopus:0035102659
ISSN
0355-3140
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2c8a871c-fd20-47bf-a803-3cc013ff3877 (old id 1123188)
alternative location
http://www.sjweh.fi/show_abstract.php?abstract_id=584
date added to LUP
2008-06-03 15:43:35
date last changed
2018-07-08 03:26:01
@article{2c8a871c-fd20-47bf-a803-3cc013ff3877,
  abstract     = {OBJECTIVES: This study compares questionnaire-assessed exposure data on work postures and movements with direct technical measurements. METHODS: Inclinometers and goniometers were used to make full workday measurements of 41 office workers and 41 cleaners, stratified for such factors as musculoskeletal complaints. The subjects answered a questionnaire on work postures of the head, back, and upper arms and repeated movements of the arms and hands (3-point scales). The questionnaire had been developed on the basis of a previously validated one. For assessing worktasks and their durations, the subjects kept a 2-week worktask diary. Job exposure was individually calculated by time-weighting the task exposure measurements according to the diary. RESULTS: The agreement between the self-assessed and measured postures and movements was low (kappa = 0.06 for the mean within the occupational groups and kappa = 0.27 for the whole group). Cleaners had a higher measured workload than office workers giving the same questionnaire response. Moreover, the subjects with neck-shoulder complaints rated their exposure to movements as higher than those without complaints but with the same measured mechanical exposure. In addition, these subjects also showed a general tendency to rate their postural exposure as higher. The women rated their exposure higher than the men did. CONCLUSIONS: The questionnaire-assessed exposure data had low validity. For the various response categories the measured exposure depended on occupation. Furthermore, there was a differential misclassification due to musculoskeletal complaints and gender. Thus it seems difficult to construct valid questionnaires on mechanical exposure for establishing generic exposure-response relations in epidemiologic studies, especially cross-sectional ones. Direct technical measurements may be preferable.},
  author       = {Hansson, Gert-Åke and Balogh, Istvan and Bystrom, J U and Ohlsson, Kerstina and Nordander, Catarina and Asterland, P and Sjolander, S and Rylander, Lars and Winkel, J and Skerfving, Staffan},
  issn         = {0355-3140},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {30--40},
  publisher    = {Finnish Institute of Occupational Health},
  series       = {Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health},
  title        = {Questionnaire versus direct technical measurements in assessing postures and movements of the head, upper back, arms and hands},
  volume       = {27},
  year         = {2001},
}