Yonsei Med J.  2019 Sep;60(9):870-875. 10.3349/ymj.2019.60.9.870.

Prevalence of Upper Extremity Musculoskeletal Diseases and Disability among Fruit Tree Farmers in Korea: Cross-Sectional Study

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Nursing, Dong-A University College of Nursing, Busan, Korea.
  • 2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Gyeongsang National University Hospital and Institute of Health Science, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, Korea.
  • 3Center for Farmer's Safety and Health, Gyeongsang National University Hospital, Jinju, Korea. parkks@gnu.ac.kr
  • 4Department of Preventive Medicine and Institute of Health Science, Gyeongsang National University College of Medicine, Jinju, Korea.
  • 5Department of Radiology and Institute of Health Science, Gyeongsang National University College of Medicine, Jinju, Korea.
  • 6Department of Internal Medicine and Institute of Health Science, Gyeongsang National University College of Medicine, Jinju, Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE
The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of upper extremity musculoskeletal (MSK) diseases and to identify factors influencing disability among fruit tree farmers in Korea.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Of the 1150 subjects of the Namgaram study, 460 fruit tree farmers completed a questionnaire and underwent clinical evaluations, including physical assessments, laboratory tests, simple radiographic examinations, and magnetic resonance imaging studies of the upper extremities. Disability was assessed using the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand outcome measure. Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics and regression analyses using SPSS Win 24.0.
RESULTS
The prevalences of upper extremity MSK diseases were 60.4% for rotator cuff tear, 20.9% for golf elbow, 40.9% for tennis elbow, and 58.0% for hand osteoarthritis. Disability in fruit farmers was associated with female sex (B=−4.47, p<0.001), smoking (B=−4.00, p=0.026), depression (B=2.83, p<0.001), working hours (B=0.96, p=0.001), injuries of the arms (B=10.78, p<0.001) and shoulders (B=6.75, p<0.001), and numbers of upper extremity MSK diseases (B=2.02, p=0.001), with 26.5% of the variance explained (R2=0.265, Durbin-Watson test=1.81, p<0.001).
CONCLUSION
Fruit tree farmers remain at risk for MSK diseases of the upper extremities. Disability tended to worsen with more MSK diseases. It is necessary to not only educate farmers about prevention strategies, but also to develop an effective management system for agricultural work-related MSK diseases and a surveillance system at the government level for the health problems of farmers.

Keyword

Musculoskeletal diseases; disability; farmer

MeSH Terms

Arm
Cross-Sectional Studies*
Depression
Elbow
Farmers*
Female
Fruit*
Golf
Hand
Humans
Korea*
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Musculoskeletal Diseases*
Osteoarthritis
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Prevalence*
Rotator Cuff
Shoulder
Smoke
Smoking
Tears
Tennis Elbow
Trees*
Upper Extremity*
Smoke
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