Ms Village has received consultant fees (more than $10,000) for developing the Ergonomic Assessment Tool for Arthritis.
The ergonomic assessment tool for arthritis: Development and pilot testing
Article first published online: 29 SEP 2008
Copyright © 2008 by the American College of Rheumatology
Arthritis Care & Research
Volume 59, Issue 10, pages 1495–1503, 15 October 2008
How to Cite
Backman, C. L., Village, J. and Lacaille, D. (2008), The ergonomic assessment tool for arthritis: Development and pilot testing. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 59: 1495–1503. doi: 10.1002/art.24116
- Issue published online: 29 SEP 2008
- Article first published online: 29 SEP 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 8 JUL 2008
- Manuscript Received: 2 FEB 2008
- Canadian Institutes for Health Research
- The Arthritis Society of Canada
- Investigator Award from The Arthritis Society of Canada
Ergonomic assessment and recommendations may help people with arthritis maintain employment; however, most ergonomic tools are designed to assess injury risk in the general population and are not specific to the needs of people with inflammatory arthritis (IA). Our objectives were to design and pilot test an ergonomic assessment tool for people with IA and to propose ergonomic modifications to prevent work loss and maintain at-work productivity.
Relevant content was identified in a literature review by an interdisciplinary team. Respecting some clients' reluctance to disclose arthritis to employers, no work site visit was required. An initial assessment tool was reviewed by a 4-person expert panel, revised and pretested with 13 adults with IA by 3 occupational therapists (OTs). The final tool, comprised of a self-assessment, an interview guide, and a solutions summary, was used in a pilot test of a multifaceted program designed to prevent work loss and maintain at-work productivity. One OT conducted all ergonomic consultations and followed up with phone calls at 1 month. Implementation of recommendations was evaluated at 3, 6, and 12 months.
Nineteen women (mean age 51 years) with IA (mean disease duration 12 years) completed ergonomic assessments. A range of risks were identified and 87 recommendations were made (mean 4.5 per participant). At 1 year, 85% of recommendations had been implemented by 74% of the participants.
The Ergonomic Assessment Tool for Arthritis is a feasible and comprehensive process for identifying ergonomic job accommodations.