A debut work that offers insight into the psychological impact of suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).
More than 1 million cases of CTS were reported in the workplace in 2008, says Rostkowski, a CTS sufferer who asserts that she was fired from a job because of it. Her personal story, in part, led her to conduct the scientific study she describes in this book—a dissertation she presented as part of the requirements for a Ph.D. in organization and management. The author says that, in order to maintain her objectivity, she focused her research only on how CTS relates to employers’ return-to-work programs, because the organization that fired her, she says, had no such program. This results in a very narrow study, but it does reveal the psychological and psychosomatic implications of CTS victims’ treatment in the workplace. The study’s objective—to determine the reasons why CTS-afflicted employees complete or don’t complete return-to-work programs—may be less interesting to general readers than the feelings expressed by the 12 study participants, whom Rostkowski extensively interviewed. Questions such as, “What are some of the comments that your co-workers made to you today that you feel were in direct correlation with your injury?” and “What factors related to your injury make you feel that your work situation has changed because you got injured?” lead to frank and sobering responses: “I worked day and night to get this promotion and I feel it was all for nothing now,” said one study participant. “Every day I think, how long before they replace me. I look at my wrist and think, my own body did this to me.” These responses enrich the document with a much-needed human element. However, average readers’ eyes may glaze over when they wade through the study’s parameters and literature review.
A study that’s well-suited to scientists and CTS-afflicted people, but the general public may not find it entirely digestible.