The Effect of Alternative Keyboards on Discomfort and Typing Kinematics

This study has been completed.
Sponsor:
Collaborator:
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Nancy Baker, University of Pittsburgh
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT00801983
First received: December 3, 2008
Last updated: August 6, 2014
Last verified: August 2014
  Purpose

Awkward postures during computer keyboard use have been hypothesized to be one cause of musculoskeletal pain/discomfort as well as musculoskeletal disorders of the upper extremity (MSD-UE). Alternative computer keyboards purport to reduce musculoskeletal pain/discomfort and have been shown to change aspects of keyboard users' kinematics under laboratory conditions. However, research that has examined the effectiveness of alternative keyboards in reducing musculoskeletal pain/discomfort in the workplace is equivocal, and no study has examined the association between postures and musculoskeletal pain. The Aims of this 3-year prospective double cross-over trial are: 1) To examine the effectiveness of an alternative keyboard in reducing reports of pain over 6-months; 2) To examine the neutrality and stability of postures during keyboard use; and 3) To identify which postures are associated with lower levels of musculoskeletal pain. Seventy-five computer users will be randomly assigned to one of two keyboard use orders: Group 1 - AB (standard keyboard, alternative keyboard); Group 2 - BA (alternative keyboard, standard keyboard). All subjects will use their assigned keyboards for 6-months before switching to the next keyboard. Every week, subjects will report their musculoskeletal pain levels. Just prior to and just after each 6-month intervention subjects' kinematics performances on the keyboards will be recorded at the worksite using the Keyboard - Personal Computing Style (K-PeCS) instrument and in a laboratory setting using 3-dimensional motion capture technology.

Aim 1: To examine the effectiveness of an alternative keyboard in reducing pain over 6-months.

Hypothesis 1 (H-1) - At six months subjects using an alternative keyboard will have significantly lower musculoskeletal pain levels than when using a standard keyboard.

Aim 2: To examine the neutrality and stability of postures during keyboard use.

Hypothesis 3 (H-2) - Subjects using an alternative keyboard will have significantly more neutral postures than when using a standard keyboard at baseline and at 6 months Hypothesis 3 (H-3) - Subjects 6-months keyboarding postures will remain equivalent to the keyboarding postures documented at baseline.


Condition Intervention
Pain
Device: Alternative Keyboard

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: The Effect of Alternative Keyboards on Discomfort and Typing Kinematics

Further study details as provided by University of Pittsburgh:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Musculoskeletal Discomfort [ Time Frame: 6 months and 12 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

    Discomfort Survey (WDS) was used to assess symptoms and activity limitations. Participants reported on their work schedule, medication used for pain control, and discomfort in their neck/shoulder, back, and bilateral lower arms (elbows, forearms, wrists, and hands) using an 11-point numerical rating scale (0 = no discomfort/no limitations; 10 = unbearable discomfort/major limitations).

    We had to dichotomize the data during analysis due to severe skew towards not discomfort (0). Thus the final outcome was discomfort -yes or no



Enrollment: 85
Study Start Date: January 2009
Study Completion Date: August 2013
Primary Completion Date: April 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: A
Subject receives typical keyboard first for 6 months and alternative keyboard second for 6 months
Device: Alternative Keyboard
Subjects use either a typical or alternative keyboard
Other Name: Microsoft Natural Ergonomic
Experimental: B
Subject receives alternative keyboard first for 6 months and typical keyboard second for 6 months
Device: Alternative Keyboard
Subjects use either a typical or alternative keyboard
Other Name: Microsoft Natural Ergonomic

  Eligibility

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Use a computer at least 20 hrs per week
  • Aged 18-65
  • Experiencing some pain during computer use

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Currently use an alternative keyboard
  • Serious trauma injury to the upper extremity
  • Rheumatic disorder
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00801983

Locations
United States, Pennsylvania
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, 15260
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Pittsburgh
  More Information

No publications provided

Responsible Party: Nancy Baker, Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00801983     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 08030467, R01OH008961
Study First Received: December 3, 2008
Results First Received: May 19, 2014
Last Updated: August 6, 2014
Health Authority: United States: Institutional Review Board

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on October 23, 2014