The Prevalence and Associated Risk Factors of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome among Private Dentists in Klang Valley, Malaysia: A Cross-sectional Study
Keywords:CTS, private dental practitioner, BCTQ, Tinel's sign, Phalen's test
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a progressive entrapment neuropathy that is commonly associated with dentists. If left untreated, permanent nerve and muscle damage may occur. The purpose of this study is to determine prevalence of CTS among private dentists in Klang Valley, Malaysia and to further identify the associated risk factors for CTS symptoms. In-person interviews of 78 subjects obtained using the convenience sampling method were carried out. The Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire (BCTQ) and clinical tests of Phalen and Tinel were used to examine signs and functional impact of CTS. The overall prevalence of CTS-related symptoms is 37.2%. Using BCTQ alone, 6.4% showed mild CTS symptoms through the level of functional state scoring (FSS) while 10.3% showed mild to moderate symptoms in the scale of the severity of symptoms (SSS). There is a significant correlation between the age of dentists and CTS symptoms (p = 0.007). The prevalence of CTS was more common in older dentists. Increasing age and working hours per week further enhance the risk of CTS. Findings from this study will serve as a useful baseline to establish further study in Klang Valley. Future work should examine the accounts underlying these risk factors for preventive measures.
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