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Diagnostic usefulness of Sweden's Corporate Health Screening Form and Medical Examination in Medical Control of Vibration Exposed and Response's Relation to Current and Future Measurement Standards

Research project The project aims to determine how well the FHV methodology and the Swedish Occupational Health Service neurological questions for Medical control in Worklife (MKA) of vibration-exposed workers predicts sensory disturbances in hands and fingers. Furthermore, the project tries to assess how well the outcome relates to the current and the proposed measurement standard on vibration exposure, best predict the risk of nerve damage in the hands and fingers.

Head of project

Hans Pettersson
Research fellow
E-mail
Email

Project overview

Project period:

2021-01-01 2023-12-31

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine

External funding

Forte

Project description

Almost half of all patients who come to the Occupational and Environmental Clinic (Arbets- och miljömedicinska kliniken, AMM) in Umeå have the issue of occupational disease in their hands due to vibration exposure. The vibration exposure is common among workers in the construction, mining and manufactoring industries where they use hand-held vibrating machines such as grinder, hammers and nut runners. It is important to detect signs of vibration injuries to the hands and fingers as early as possible to prevent this type of injury.

The research project's goal is to determine how well FHVmetodik and the Swedish Occupational Health Service neurological questions for Medical control of neurological injuries in the hands and fingers of vibrations at Medical Control in Working Life (MKA) of vibration-exposed workers, predicts sensory disturbances. Furthermore, the goal of the project is also to assess which, the current measurement standard and the now proposed upcoming measurement standard of vibration, respectively, best predict the risk of nerve damage from vibrations.

The National Board of Occupational health service national industry organization recommends that all affiliated corporate health’s in Sweden follow the guidelines included in the MKA. Today, it is unknown how well the screening questions and medical examinations find nerve symptoms of the hand and fingers that workers have. Previous studies with screening questions for nerve damage symptoms have only been studied against a doctor's assessment and not with clinical tests.

This project is the first to study how well the screening questions predicts damage to nerve function in the hands and fingers with the results from laboratory tests and FHVmetodiks  proposed “bedside” examinations. For the study of the screening questions and the study of the measurement standards that provide the best risk assessment model, 200 subjects from AMM in Umeå, occupational health care and companies with workers exposed to vibration will be invited. A questionnaire on vibration exposure are distributed at the same time as the screening form. Field measurements will take place at participating companies. Previous studies have not focused on nerve damage and mainly included highly exposed forest and quarry workers. The current study focuses on other occupational groups (construction, mining and workshops) and other types of machines (cutting machines, impact and rotating machines) than previous studies.

External funding