• 1 Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
Int J Public Health Res, 2012;2(2):137-143.


Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a hand disorder which indicates the presence of symptoms such as pain, numbness, and muscle weakness among the patient. CTS is an occupational related disorder which can occur in any profession. However, it can be prevented and managed. The aims of the research were to determine the prevalence of acquiring CTS among nurses who worked in the wards and occupational risk factors involving the upper limbs during nursing tasks performance. The specific aims were to determine the relationship between the prevalence of acquiring CTS and individual factors (age, gender, race, educational level, duration of work and medical history), relationship between the prevalence of acquiring CTS and occupational risk factors in nursing tasks. Nurses profession was chosen as they are performing multitask involving upper limbs especially the wrist joints. Boston Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Questionnaire (BCTQ) was used to determine the level of severity in CTS. Occupational risk factors were assessed by using the Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA). This research was a cross sectional mode which was carried out at a government university medical centre from November through December 2010. Eighty nurses were involved in the research. The respondents were required to fill in the socio-demographic information sheet. Those having CTS were required to fill in the BCTQ. Assessments were performed by observing of the job activity through RULA. The results showed that the prevalence for nurses acquiring CTS is 7.5%. The RULA assessment also indicated that the risk factor was in the highest level with a score of 7. No relationship was shown between the prevalence of CTS and race, gender, educational level and medical history. Significant relationship was indicated by the prevalence of CTS and occupational risk factors. In conclusion, a significant prevalence of CTS related to age of more than 30 years old, Malay races compared to Indian, working experience of more than 10 years and respondents with right hand dominant. Occupational risk factors also indicated among the active nurses. Therefore, it is important for us to modify the work environment, work flow, work methodology and ergonomic factors in order to prevent the nurses from acquiring CTS. Furthermore, education about the condition of CTS should be implemented and reinforced especially among the higher risk nurses.