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Upper limb musculoskeletal disorders associated with computer usage in health-care professionals

Varun Singh, Navendu Goyal, Aditya Singh, Shiraz M Bhatty, Anit Deane, Jeewan S Prakash.

Background: Musculoskeletal disorders following heavy computer usage are common and well known and usually affect the upper limb. Health-care professionals are also prone to these disorders; however, the effect on health-care professionals has rarely been reported.

Objective: To assess the prevalence of computer-related upper limb musculoskeletal problems among health-care students, as it can significantly affect the patient health care and the health-care system as a whole.

Materials and Methods: Four hundred fifty health-care students attached to a tertiary-care hospital were evaluated for computer-associated upper limb musculoskeletal problems using modified Maastricht Upper Extremity Questionnaire (MUEQ) and Revised Short Musculoskeletal Function Assessment (SMFA) Questionnaire.

Result: Prevalence of upper limb disorders was 45% in the study population. About 35.69% of the total problems were related to neck, 17.44% to shoulder, 19.62% to arm and forearm, 16.08% to wrists, and 11.17% to hands. Overall, Bothersome Index was higher at follow-up when compared with the beginning of study.

Conclusion: Upper limb musculoskeletal disorders following heavy computer usage have a large prevalence among health-care professionals, and adequate steps for awareness and treatment of these disorders should be taken to provide better patient care and improve the health-care system.

Key words: Musculoskeletal disorders, CANS, health-care professionals, computer-related diseases

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