Detecting cumulative trauma disorders in workers performing repetitive tasks Academic Article uri icon


  • On-site testing of 157 poultry processors disclosed that 50% had three or more abnormal upper extremity findings out of a total of 22 possibles. The average worker had five to six abnormal findings. Impaired pinch strength, decreased vibration sensitivity in the fingertips, and reports of current numbness were the most prevalent. Of workers with signs, 25% reported no symptoms, whereas only 8% of workers reported symptoms but had no signs. The investigators concluded that this measurement method has utility for assessments of worker populations to determine prevalence of CTDs and, potentially, for preclinical detection of these disorders to permit early intervention, reduce medical costs, and minimize disability. The need for accurate measurement to enhance early detection and prevention is discussed.


  • Young, V Leroy
  • Seaton, Mary K
  • Feely, Christine A
  • Arfken, Cynthia
  • Edwards, Dorothy F
  • Baum, Carolyn M
  • Logan, Samuel

publication date

  • March 1995