Exposure to Hand-Arm Vibrations in the Workplace and the Occurrence of Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome, Dupuytren's Contracture, and Hypothenar Hammer Syndrome A systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Heike Gerger*, Karen Søgaard, Erin Macri, Jennie Jackson, Roy G Elbers, Rogier vanRijn, Bart Koes, Alessandro Chiarotto, Alex Burdorf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This study provides an overview of the relationships between exposure to work-related hand-arm vibration and the occurrence of pre-defined disorders of the hands. We searched Medline, Embase, Web of Science, Cochrane Central, and PsycINFO for cross-sectional and longitudinal studies on the association between work-related vibration exposure and the occurrence of hand-arm vibration syndrome (including vibration-induced white finger), Dupuytren’s contracture, or hypothenar hammer syndrome. We used a 16-item checklist for assessing the risk of bias. We present results narratively, and we conducted random effects meta-analyses if possible. We included 10 studies with more than 24,381 participants. Our results showed statistically significant associations between the exposure to hand-arm vibrations and the occurrence of the selected disorders, with pooled odds ratios ranging between 1.35 (95% CI: 1.28 to 2.80) and 3.43 (95% CI: 2.10 to 5.59). Considerable between-study heterogeneity was observed. Our analyses show that exposure to vibrating tools at work is associated with an increased risk for the occurrence of selected disorders of the hands. Due to the majority of studies being cross-sectional, no firm conclusion is possible regarding causal relationships between vibration exposure and disorder occurrence. Future research should specifically address whether reducing exposure to hand-held vibrating tools at work reduces the incidence of the disorders of the hands investigated in this systematic review.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-267
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Volume20
Issue number7
Early online date31 Mar 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the Workers’ Compensation Board (WorkSafeBC; grant number RS2019-SP03, awarded to Prof. Bart Koes). The views, findings, opinions, and conclusions expressed herein do not represent the views of WorkSafeBC. This funding source had no role in the conduct of this review, analyses, interpretation of the data, or decision to submit results. We thank Dr. Wichor Bramer for his help with constructing the electronic database literature search.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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