Predicting work-related incidence of lateral and medial epicondylitis using the strain index
Background The Strain Index (SI) has been developed to evaluate the risk for developing a distal upper extremity disorder. The objective of this study is to determine if the SI predicts incidence cases of work-related lateral, medial, or any epicondylities (LEPI, MEPI, and EPI).
Methods Six hundred seven workers were followed for up to 3.5 years, 70 developed EPI on the dominant side (44 LEPI, 13 MEPI, and 13 both). Survival analyses were conducted adjusting for demographic, psychosocial, and work organizational factors, with the SI as time-dependent variable.
Results High exposure (SI > 5), older age, and self-perceived poor general health were associated with incidence of LEPI and EPI, but not MEPI. There was a significant relationship between higher scores of SI and LEPI, hazard ratio (HR) 2.00 (95% CI 1.04–3.87) for SI 5.1–12, HR 2.12 (95% CI 1.11–4.05) for SI > 12.
Conclusions The SI can effectively identify jobs with increased risk of developing incidence of LEPI.