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Postoffer Pre-Placement Screening for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Newly Hired Manufacturing Workers

Dale, Ann Marie PhD, OTR/L; Gardner, Bethany T. OTD, OTR/L; Buckner-Petty, Skye MPH; Strickland, Jaime R. MA; Evanoff, Bradley MD, MPH

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: December 2016 - Volume 58 - Issue 12 - p 1212–1216
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000891
ORIGINAL ARTICLES

Objective: We determined the predictive validity of a postoffer pre-placement (POPP) screen using nerve conduction velocity studies (NCV) to identify future cases of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

Methods: A cohort of 1648 newly hired manufacturing production workers underwent baseline NCS, and were followed for 5 years.

Results: There was no association between abnormal POPP NCV results and incident CTS. Varying NCV diagnostic cut-offs did not improve predictive validity. Workers in jobs with high hand/wrist exposure showed greater risk of CTS than those in low exposed jobs (relative risk 2.82; 95% confidence interval 1.52 to 5.22).

Conclusions: POPP screening seems ineffective as a preventive strategy for CTS.

Division of General Medical Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.

Address correspondence to: Ann Marie Dale, PhD, OTR/L, Washington University School of Medicine, Division of General Medical Sciences, 4523 Clayton Avenue, Campus Box 8005, Saint Louis, MO 63110 (adale@dom.wustl.edu).

This research was supported by CDC/NIOSH grant #R01OH008017. The contents of the manuscript are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of the CDC/NIOSH.

No conflicts of interest relevant to the publication of this manuscript were declared.

Copyright © 2016 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine