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Prevalence of carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms among dentists working in Riyadh

Faisal Ahmed Alhusain,a Mashael Almohrij,b Fadwa Althukeir,b Alanoud Alshater,b Bassam Alghamdi,a Emad Masuadi,a Aisha Basudanc

From the aCollege of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; bCollege of Dentistry, Riyadh Elm University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; cDental Department, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 

How to cite this article:

Alhusain FA, Almohrij M, Althukeir F, Alshater A, Alghamdi B, Masuadi E, et al. Prevalence of carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms among dentists working in Riyadh. AAnn Saudi Med 2019; 39(2): 104-111.



BACKGROUND: Approximately 3-6% of the general population have carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). CTS is more prevalent among people with occupations that involve repetitive and forceful maneuvers, such as dentists. It is important to identify risk factors for these symptoms and to understand the impact they may have on clinical practice. 


OBJECTIVES: Measure the prevalence of CTS-symptoms and identify factors associated with CTS.


DESIGN: Cross-sectional.


SETTING: Dentists working in Riyadh.


SUBJECTS AND METHODS: In-person interviews from 15 July to 10 September 2017 of subjects obtained using random cluster sampling.


MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prevalence of CTS-related symptoms among dentists. 


SAMPLE SIZE: 223 dentists (134 males and 89 females).


RESULTS: The prevalence of CTS-related symptoms among dentists working in Riyadh was 30.5% (95% CI 0.25 to 0.36). Female dentists had a significantly greater risk of having CTS symptoms than male den.tists (OR 2.13; 95% CI 1.09–4.17). Obese dentists were also more likely to complain of CTS symptoms than dentists within normal weight limits (OR 3.66; 95% CI 1.55–8.64). Left-hand dominance was strongly associated with CTS symptoms, with an estimated OR of 6.28 (95% CI 1.24– 31.90). However, there was no relationship between CTS symptoms and age, marital status, history of smoking, exercise, dental specialty, occupation period, or having other educational degrees. 


CONCLUSION: Thirty percent of dentists working in Riyadh had experienced severe or mild symptoms related to CTS. Several risk fac.tors for CTS have been identified. Future research could explore the reasons behind these risk factors to identify and implement prevention measures.


LIMITATIONS: Cannot be generalized to the whole of Saudi Arabia, or the region. Larger controlled studies are needed to further identify the risk factors associated with CTS among dentists. In addition, since the Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire was used, the self-reporting nature of the study might be affected by external bias. 




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