IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 130: Quantitative Measures of Physical Risk Factors Associated with Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders of the Elbow: A Systematic Review (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Background: Work-related musculoskeletal disorders at the elbow are a common health problem, which highly impacts workers’ well-being and performance. Besides existing qualitative information, there is a clear lack of quantitative information of physical risk factors associated with specific disorders at the elbow (SDEs). Objective: To provide evidence-based quantitative measures of physical risk factors associated with SDEs. Methods: Studies were searched from 2007 to 2017 in Medline, EMBASE, and Cochrane Work. The identified risk factors were grouped in main- and sub-categories of exposure using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) framework for rating evidence. Results: 133 different risk-factor specifications were identified in 10/524 articles and were grouped into 5 main- and 16 sub-categories of exposure. The risk factors were significantly associated with lateral epicondylitis, medial epicondylitis, or ulnar neuropathy. Significant risk factors such as wrist angular velocity (5°/s, with increasing prevalence ratio of 0.10%/(°/s), or forearm supination (≥45° and ≥5% of time combined with forceful lifting) were found. Conclusions: This review delivers a categorization of work-related physical risk-factor specifications for SDEs with a special focus on quantitative measures, ranked for evidence. These results may build the base for developing risk assessment methods and prospective preventive measures.