Background: Individuals with work-related upper extremity disorders (WRUEDs) encounter pain, loss of function, and adverse effects on employment. Hand therapists require quality information on effective treatments for individuals with WRUEDs in order to provide evidence-based interventions.
Objectives: To conduct a systematic review of available evidence on workplace rehabilitation interventions for WRUEDs.
Search strategy: Studies were identified by conducting a search of electronic databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, and EMBASE) from January 1982 to May 2003.
Selection criteria: Studies that meet the following criteria were included in this review: (a) the intervention was given at the workplace; (b) the population consisted of individuals with WRUEDs; (c) the intervention involved treatment; (d) the study was published in English; and (e) the study involved primary research on one or more patient groups.
Data collection and analysis: Four reviewers independently assessed the abstracts. The reviewers used a 24-item evaluation checklist to assess the quality of studies and level of evidence.
Main results: Eight studies met the inclusion criteria. The authors report the effectiveness of the eight studies was limited by small sample sizes, lack of standardized outcome measures, and inadequate research reporting.
Conclusions: The review indicates the evidence for workplace interventions for WRUEDs has not been established.