New Online RSI Test

Visitors to our site have asked for a short RSI test, so we have added a new, simple test to our online tests. It is a free RSI-Quick Scan indicating both your risk of getting RSI and the chance of alread having RSI related complaints. Please be aware that it is a small test and results are not more than indications.

Answer 1:  Looks interesting… it would be helpful to know the “small charge” for getting the results before doing so

Answer 2:  The short RSI Quick Scan test is free! Visit our shop to see the current prices for the full tests ($10 for the risk test if results emailed, $15 for the diagnosis test).

Answer 3:  Please be aware that RSI can’t be diagnosed online. The only thing an online test is going to do for anyone is increase anxiety and uncertainty. If you are concerned that you may have RSI, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible.

Answer 4:  I would very much like to correct my previous posting. We never and nowhere say that RSI can be diagnosed online! We will never even pretend it can. It cannot. It is hard enough to diagnose in person. But the problem is that many, many patients never get a real diagnosis because doctors won’t consider the underlying disorders. This seems to be less of a problem in the UK though, I understand. My personal experience, and that of many others is that the moment patients visit a doctor asking for example: “Do I have a work related TOS, Guyon channel syndrome or CTS“? They make them look further than they would without the mentioning of possible disorders. An indication of possible disorders would so help getting a real diagnosis and the right treatment. Just as the advice of other patients would.
That is the purpose of our test. It was developed for company doctors here in the Netherlands based on scientific research by the Dutch Work related Injuries Center that is being implemented in government guidelines about diagnosing RSI and brought online afterwards. The test is not needed in situations where qualified doctors taking RSI seriously are available. Sorry for any misunderstandings caused, I will consider removing the test from our site.

Answer 5:  Thanks for your comments. I wonder whether there is any consensus on this. Does anyone else on the list have a view as to whether an online test is a good or a bad idea? To elaborate on why I think it’s a bad idea: I’m always very conscious that anyone searching for health information on the Internet is likely to be sitting alone at a computer, already feeling worried, hoping to find definite answers. That is a very vulnerable state to be in — I’ve been there often, and I expect a lot of others on this list have also. It doesn’t do a lot for one’s critical faculties. It’s easy at the best of times to become convinced that a particular medical condition is just what you yourself are suffering from — medical students are famous for contracting every disease they study. That’s why I’m generally uneasy about online medical tests.
There are two other more particular reasons: First, if you come to believe, as the result of an online test, that you have, say, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome — that may be wrong. But many doctors are themselves not well informed about RSI conditions. If you say to your doctor on your first visit that you think you have CTS, then that may influence which investigations are done, and you may not get the treatment you actually need. Second, if the online test says that you probably have CTS, but your doctor thinks it is not CTS, then this disagreement may also affect your relationship with your doctor, which can have an impact on the course of your treatment. I’m not of course saying that the GP is always right, but I think his/her opinion should be questioned or challenged, if necessary, on the basis of one’s own perception of one’s problem, not on the basis of the results of a computerized questionnaire. I would be interested to hear what others think, and perhaps this would be helpful to Ron also in coming to a decision about whether to keep or remove the test.

Answer 6:  Could I please add one more sub question to this? In what way would a test be different from the sometimes horrible stories one finds on the Net when searching for RSI or from reading articles or books about it, etc.? Or, would any tips from fellow patients indeed not be able to cause the same reaction? I agree that this response to (any) information on RSI could influence your reaction to (and opinion on) your own complaints and the relationship with your doctor. But I think must doctors are used to informed patients anyway these days, and being informed may well improve the patient-doctor relationship and the quality of treatment and diagnosis.

Answer 7:  I think the on-line test is a good idea. Someone who worries about having RSI or about the risk of getting it is likely to search for information anyway. This is just an efficient way to skip the information which is *most likely* not relevant. This is exactly the same type of information that is exchanged on this list, but more systematic. If someone wants to pay for the service, that’s fine. I did the free test, just to see if it is something I could pass on to my colleagues. Some of my colleagues ask me for advice on RSI-like symptoms. I would be glad to refer them to the free test, it is better than what I can tell them as someone suffering from RSI. For me, the test results were correct. It said that my risk of getting RSI is “above average”, and it is “very likely” that I have it myself. The test passed the test.

Answer 8:  Surely no more anxiety and uncertainty than the warnings on the various RSI/typing injury sites? For me, the advice given on many RSI sites to consult your doctor as soon as possible has caused a great deal of anxiety. I live in a country where RSI/typing injury are virtually unknown, and it has been very difficult to find a doctor who is prepared to even consider that working at a computer may have caused damage.
The Internet is my only source of information. I’ve managed to reduce the pain in my hands, wrists and forearms considerably since I discovered this list, by following various tips, trying out different exercises (thank you everyone!): but since I don’t know what exactly is causing the pain in my particular case, it’s rather a hit-and-miss affair. RSI seems to cover so many different conditions that a test which could help to narrow things down to a particular range of problems could be very useful. It could help decide what kind of medical specialist is likely to be most helpful, what kind of self-help is likely to be most effective…So please do not remove the on-line test. It can be valuable to sufferers in countries where the medical profession is only just discovering RSI. Just keep the disclaimers, and make it clear that the test is “for guidance only”.

Answer 9:  That would be me right now :) I just joined the list. I think I also just did the survey before I found the list and I found it useful. if it’s not the same survey, the one I did asked about computer usage, a few basics on ergonomics, assorted pain questions etc. the results were pretty much what I imagined they would be, that I was at a higher than average risk level but that I was below average in terms of actually having RSI right now. The reason I started looking is that I have begun to experience discomfort in the back of my hands, especially my right hand when using a computer mouse or when using a stiff keyboard, I already know about RSI from my degree in IT in society so I was wary of becoming afflicted and hit the internet looking for what to do next.
The best thing the test did in my opinion was the ergonomic questions. I can’t remember if the site also gave basic ergonomic recommendations to instantly improve the positioning of desktop equipment (I looked at a lot of sites that day) but that should definitely be included. Now after a week of feeling this discomfort, I am just about ready to go see my doctor but with an open mind. The one thing I got from everything I looked at was 1. get medical advice and 2. act quickly if your daily routine is causing this, not acting will just make it worse.
The test I took did not attempt to diagnose me. It just seemed to place me above, at or below the average (whatever average is) for risk and for affliction. To my mind there’s nothing wrong with that but I agree with you that any test or indeed any human that attempts to diagnose any medical condition via the internet is on very risky ground.

Answer 10:  I don’t think it’s the same sort of thing. There’s a kind of automatic reaction to tests and quizzes. Magazine editors are well aware of it, and cash in on it all the time, encouraging their readers to do tests to find out whether some aspect of their lives is or is not satisfactory.  (I’m not comparing the online RSI test to such quizzes in magazines, btw, I’m just talking about the way people tend to respond to tests.)  The result of a test can seem more authoritative than it really is. That being said, most of those who have commented have said that they think it’s useful to have the RSI test available, so perhaps I’m being over-cautious. I think it always helps to be informed, but knowing the result of an online test does not equal being informed. I’ll be honest — I still  don’t like the idea myself. There is food for thought in the comments  that have been posted, though.

 


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