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Causes of musculoskeletal disorders in dental hygienists and dental hygiene students: a study of combined biomechanical and psychosocial risk factors.

Authors
Warren-N
Source
Work 2010 Apr; 35(4):441-454
NIOSHTIC No.
20044805
Abstract
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to address the high prevalence and costs of musculoskeletal disorders in dental hygienists and dental hygiene students by assessing the combined role of biomechanical and psychosocial risk factors. The paper explores new methods for measuring the effects of psychosocial risk factors (job stress) in hygienists. METHODS: In a sample of practicing dental hygienists and dental hygiene students in Connecticut, the study assessed biomechanical exposures, psychosocial exposures, and symptom status by survey. Study participants were examined by physicians, providing measures of symptom and disease status. Two methods of bio-monitoring the potential effects of stress on the sympathetic nervous system were used: vibrotactile perception thresholds and nerve conduction velocity. RESULTS: Biomechanical and psychosocial exposures have independent and additive associations with the wide variety of outcomes, often of similar magnitude. Biomechanical exposures tend to be associated with negative outcomes in identifiable body areas, whereas job stress had fewer identifiable associations with outcomes by body area. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study indicate that, in addition to identifying and controlling biomechanical risk factors, dental schools, dental practices, and dental hygienists themselves should pay attention to the identification and control of psychosocial risk factors in the workplace.
Keywords
Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Dentistry; Dentists; Health-care-personnel; Health-care-facilities; Biomechanics; Job-stress; Psychological-stress; Author Keywords: Job stress; biomechanical exposures; psychosocial exposures; sympathetic nervous system
Contact
Nicholas Warren, University of Connecticut Health Center, Ergonomics Technology Center, 263 Farmington Avenue-MC6210, Farmington, CT, USA
CODEN
WORKFK
Publication Date
20100401
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
warren@nso.uchc.edu
Fiscal Year
2010
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U01-OH-007312
Issue of Publication
4
ISSN
1051-9815
Source Name
Work
State
CT
Performing Organization
University of Connecticut Schools of Medicine
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