Author(s): Pope DP, Silman AJ, Cherry NM, Pritchard C, Macfarlane GJ
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: This study determined the accuracy of workers in quantifying occupational physical demands on a self-administered questionnaire. METHODS: First, a self-administered questionnaire on work postures, manual materials-handling, and repetitive upper-limb movements was validated using direct simultaneous observations for 123 randomly selected employees from 6 occupational settings. Second, weight estimation accuracy was assessed on visual analogue scales for 6 manual materials-handling activities using 20 randomly selected employees from 1 occupational setting. RESULTS: At a dichotomous level (ever-never), the accuracy of most of the self-reported physical demands was good (sensitivity 60-100\%; specificity 56-100\%). A more-detailed analysis of the dimensions studied (frequency, duration and amplitude) also showed that the accuracy of the self-reported estimates was satisfactory. Full agreement between the estimated and observed frequency was >60\% for most of the manual materials-handling activities. In addition the average difference between the estimated and observed duration of the physical demands was found to be small. Finally the average difference between the self-reported and actual weights of various loads was found to be modest. CONCLUSIONS: The self-reported questionnaire used in this study would provide a useful instrument for estimating occupational physical demands and the frequency, duration, and amplitude of these demands in future epidemiologic studies associated with musculoskeletal pain.
This article was published in Scand J Work Environ Health
and referenced in Journal of Ergonomics