Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rheumatoid arthritis doesn't hinder computing skills, study shows

Date:
January 29, 2010
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Workers with rheumatoid arthritis were comparable to non-impaired individuals in keyboarding speed, according to a new study. Individuals who were trained in touch typing demonstrated faster typing speeds than those using a visually-guided ("hunt and peck") method, regardless of impairment.

A recent study by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh found that workers with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were comparable to non-impaired individuals in keyboarding speed. Individuals who were trained in touch typing demonstrated faster typing speeds than those using a visually-guided ("hunt and peck") method, regardless of impairment. Researchers also noted slightly impaired mouse skills in workers with RA.

Results of this study appear in the February issue of Arthritis Care & Research, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American College of Rheumatology.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau the number of workers using computers increased from 46% in 1993 to 56% in 2003 with s expected to continue climbing higher. For workers with RA the capacity to use computers may be limited by impairment in hand range of motion (ROM) and strength caused by inflammation of their joints due to the disease. Prior studies have shown that workers with RA have higher rates of work disability, premature work cessation, and reduced hours on the job.

"With more arthritic workers using computers, understanding the associations between hand function impairment and peripheral device (keyboard and mouse) limitations is essential and the focus of our current study," said lead author Nancy Baker, Sc.D., MPH, OTR/L. Researchers recruited 45 participants from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Arthritis Network Registry for the study. Those subjects enrolled had an average age of 55, were primarily white females, and had RA for 17 years. Half of all participants worked full or part-time, with 100% of this group using computers at work.

Hand function was assessed using the Keitel Hand Function Index (KHFI) and the Arthritis Hand Function Test (AHFT). The KHFI included 11 performance test items to measure active ROM of the thumb, fingers, writs, forearms and elbows. The AHFT consisted of 10 test items to evaluate pure and applied strength and dexterity in a variety of hand tasks. Participants' abilities to use a standard keyboard and mouse were measured using the Assessment of Computer Task Performance (ACTP).

The research team found that 73% of participants were trained in touch typing and used the computer an average of 18 hours per week. Regression models suggested that keyboarding speed was significantly associated with touch typing training and age. Mouse speed was significantly associated with age only, with younger participants demonstrating faster speeds than older subjects. Impairments in hand function were associated with 2 of 7 keyboarding tasks and no mouse tasks. "Our research suggests that if individuals with motor impairments have the capacity to learn touch typing it may increase their overall speed," noted Dr. Baker.

Researchers further compared the current study group results with an impaired and non-impaired subject group from a normative study by Dumont et al to benchmark ACTP. "We found that our RA workers had similar keyboarding speed compared with the non-impaired sample," Dr. Baker stated. "However, we found that mouse speed was much slower in some participants in our RA sample." Task-specific training for mouse use is not available and the reduced productivity with this device has the potential to place computer using workers with RA at risk for work disability. "Further research is needed to identify effective strategies to maintain productivity in computer users with RA," concluded Dr. Baker.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nancy A. Baker and Joan C. Rogers. Association Between Computer Use Speed and Age, Impairments in Function, and Touch Typing Training in People With Rheumatoid Arthritis. Arthritis Care and Research, Online: January 28, 2010; Print Issue Date: February 2010. DOI: 10.1002/acr.20074

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Rheumatoid arthritis doesn't hinder computing skills, study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100128091742.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2010, January 29). Rheumatoid arthritis doesn't hinder computing skills, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100128091742.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Rheumatoid arthritis doesn't hinder computing skills, study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100128091742.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) A new study finds children are prescribed antibiotics twice as often as is necessary. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) The respiratory virus Enterovirus D68, which targets children, has spread from the Midwest to 21 states. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins