(41/1401) Psychological distress and somatisation as prognostic factors in patients with musculoskeletal illness in general practice.

BACKGROUND: Musculoskeletal illness is a common cause of absenteeism from work, workers' compensation, and disability retirement, and accounts for 9.3% to 17% of patient contacts in general practice. To understand the increase in self-reported musculoskeletal illness and to improve treatment and prevention, it is important to know which factors to target when dealing with these patients. AIM: To investigate whether the prognosis for patients with musculoskeletal illness referred to physiotherapy from general practice can be predicted by the presence of psychological distress and somatisation identified by a general practitioner (GP) and standard questionnaires. METHOD: A multi-practice survey based on questionnaires (index and three-month follow-up). Nine hundred and five consecutive patients referred to physiotherapy from 124 different general practices in Denmark were included. Outcome measures were physical health change, sick leave, patient self-rated improvement, and change in use of medication. RESULTS: Psychological distress and somatisation rated by both GPs and standard questionnaires acted with almost no exception as significant predictors of all four outcome measures. CONCLUSION: Psychological distress and somatisation are important factors when considering preventive initiatives and treatment of patients with musculoskeletal illness in general practice.  (+info)

(42/1401) Glucose metabolic analysis of musculoskeletal tumours using 18fluorine-FDG PET as an aid to preoperative planning.

We performed positron emission tomography (PET) with 18 fluorine-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) on 55 patients with tumours involving the musculoskeletal system in order to evaluate its role in operative planning. The standardised uptake value (SUV) of FDG was calculated and, to distinguish malignancies from benign lesions, the cases were divided into high (> or =1.9) and low (< 1.9) SUV groups. The sensitivity of PET for correctly diagnosing malignancy was 100% with a specificity of 76.9% and an overall accuracy of 83.0%. The mean SUV for metastatic lesions was twice that for primary sarcomas (p < 0.0015). Our results suggest that the SUV may be useful in differentiating malignant tumours from benign lesions. However, some of the latter, such as schwannomas, had high SUVs so that biopsy or wide resection was selected as the first operation. Thus, some other quantitative analysis may be required for preoperative planning in cases of high-SUV neurogenic benign tumours. The reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction revealed that the RNA message of a key enzyme in glucose metabolism, phosphohexose isomerase (PHI)/autocrine motility factor, was augmented in only high FDG-uptake lesions, suggesting that a high expression of the PHI message may be associated with accumulation of FDG in musculoskeletal tumours.  (+info)

(43/1401) The significance of aches/pains among workers in an electronics factory.

Three hundred and fifteen female workers with at least three months' employment history in a factory manufacturing disk drives were studied. Each worker completed a self-administered questionnaire on their personal particulars, hours of work, opinion on the work and the workplace and the presence and severity of aches/pains experienced over the past one month. One hundred and forty one (44.8%) of the workers had complaints of aches/pains. Of these, 81 (57.5%) reported an improvement in their symptoms during their off-days. 59 (41.8%) had symptoms affecting two or more sites. The most commonly affected sites were the hands and shoulders, followed by the head and back. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of symptoms between workers from the different work stations. Ninety four (66.7%) of these workers reported that the pains that were severe enough to affect their activities. 76 (53.9%) had to seek some form of medical treatment while 33 (23.4%) had to be on medical leave. However, the physical examinations of this group of workers were normal. The symptoms appeared to be influenced by their attitude towards work. A significantly higher number of workers with symptoms expressed dissatisfaction with work and had complaints of a noisy and cold environment. The study showed that workers' morale and the quality of the work environment may play an important role in improving their general well-being.  (+info)

(44/1401) Work related upper limb disorders in telecommunication workers in Malaysia.

A total of 323 workers from 5 different occupational groups in the telecommunication industry were studied in this cross sectional study, which sought to determine the prevalence of Work Related Upper Limb Disorders (WRULD) in 5 occupational groups; operators using the Video Display Terminals, switchboard operators, clerks, data entry processors and the supervisors. WRULD was also studied with regard to factors such as sex, race, height, age, stress and the discomfort perceived due to the work station design. The possibility of WRULD was determined from a self-administered questionnaire and confirmed by history and physical examination. Psychological stress and the discomfort due to the workstation were measured from the questionnaire. The overall prevalence was found to be 31.2% and the prevalence among the various occupations differed with it being the highest in the switchboard operators and data processors and the lowest in the supervisors. The older workers and the female workers were found to have higher prevalences of WRULD. It was also found that a higher stress score and a higher score of discomfort perceived at the work station were associated with higher prevalences of WRULD.  (+info)

(45/1401) Impact on medical students of incorporating GALS screen teaching into the medical school curriculum.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of GALS locomotor screen teaching to all 3rd year medical students, at a British medical school. METHOD: In 1998, during their 3rd year, all students were taught the GALS screen in a one hour small group session. At the end of this year, 242 medical students undertook a 16 station Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). One station assessed the locomotor screening examination, while six stations assessed the examination of other systems. The students completed a five point likert scale, self rating their confidence in each of the skills assessed at this time. Pre-registration house officers (PRHOs) at two London hospitals were invited to undertake the same OSCE and self rating. RESULTS: The students performed the locomotor screen well (mean station score 80%). Three body systems were examined better and one significantly worse (p<0.05). 22/40 PRHOs undertook the assessment. Compared with the students they examined the locomotor system (mean score 20%, p<0.001), but not other systems, less well. The PRHOs felt less confident (p<0.05) examining the locomotor system (mean rating 3.6/5) than the other systems (mean rating 4.6/5), while no significant difference in confidence ratings was seen for the students. CONCLUSION: Students who are taught the GALS screen as part of the curriculum, perform it well in an end of year OSCE, as confidently as other systems, and to a higher standard than PRHOs. Further study is required to determine whether this benefit persists, overcoming the poor skills and confidence in locomotor examination of existing PRHOs, not previously taught a GALS screen.  (+info)

(46/1401) Musculoskeletal dysfunction in physical education teachers.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders, especially symptomatic osteoarthrosis (OA) of the knee and hip, health and lifestyle factors among physical education (PE) teachers, and whether they differed from the general population in these respects. METHODS: The study base was all Swedish men (n=290) and women (n=281) who graduated from the only training college for PE teachers in Sweden, between the years 1957 and 1965, and age matched referents, 255 men and 257 women, randomly selected from the Swedish population register. A postal questionnaire was sent to the subjects with questions on occupational history, participation in sports, musculoskeletal disorders, height, weight, smoking habits, and general health. RESULTS: The PE teachers had a higher prevalence ratio (PR) of symptomatic OA of the knee (men: 2.8 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.6 to 4.8; women: 3.2 95% CI 1.8 to 5.5) and knee injury compared with the referents. The PE teachers reported more absence from work, and the women had had to change jobs more often because of knee disorders. The prevalence ratio for symptomatic OA of the hip was 2.7 (95% CI 1.0 to 7.1) for the female PE teachers. At the age of 25 the body mass index (BMI) of male PE teachers was higher than the male referents, but at an older age both the female and male PE teachers had lower BMI than the referents. The participation in sports activities was considerably higher in the group of PE teachers. They also smoked less, reported less serious diseases, and better health than the referents. CONCLUSIONS: The PE teachers had a high risk of developing knee disorders, which entailed difficulties in continuing their work as PE teachers. They differed from the referents in lifestyle factors as they smoked less, were less overweight, and had a higher lifelong sports exposure.  (+info)

(47/1401) The musculoskeletal manifestations of Werner's syndrome.

Werner's syndrome is a rare condition usually presenting as premature ageing in adults. Over a period of 30 years we have followed two siblings with extensive musculoskeletal manifestations including a soft-tissue tumour, insufficiency fractures, nonunion and tendonitis, with associated problems of management. The literature is reviewed.  (+info)

(48/1401) Shoulder disorders and postural stress in automobile assembly work.

OBJECTIVES: A case-referent study was conducted in an automobile assembly plant to evaluate the risk of shoulder disorders associated with nonneutral postures. METHODS: The cases were workers who reported shoulder pain to the plant clinic during a 10-month period and met symptom criteria (pain frequency or duration in the past year) in an interview; more than one-half also had positive findings in a physical examination. The referents were randomly selected workers who were free of shoulder disorders according to the clinic records, the interview, and the physical examination. For each of the 79 cases and 124 referents, 1 job was analyzed for postural and biomechanical demands by an analyst blinded to the case-referent status. RESULTS: Forty-one percent of the subjects flexed or abducted the right arm "severely" (above 90 degrees) during the job cycle, and 35% did so with the left arm. The peak torques at the shoulder were rather low. Shoulder disorders were associated with severe flexion or abduction of the left [odds ratio (OR) 3.2, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.5-6.5] and the right (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.2-4.8) shoulder. The risk increased as the proportion of the work cycle exposed increased. The relationships were similar for the cases with and without physical findings. Use of hand-held tools increased the risk and also modified the association with postural stress, although the joint exposure distributions limited full analysis of this finding. CONCLUSIONS: The findings support the conclusion that severe shoulder flexion or abduction, especially for 10% or more of the work cycle, is predictive of chronic or recurrent shoulder disorders.  (+info)