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Incidence of low back injuries as a function of patient lifting frequency in a major medical center.

Stobbe TJ; Plummer RW
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Task Order 85-42050, 1986 Jan; :1-19
A retrospective study was carried out to examine the possible relationship between frequency of patient lifting and the occurrence of back injuries in health care personnel. This study, conducted in a 770 bed medical center, involved interviewing nursing supervisors and head nurses as to the average frequency of patient lifting per shift for each of three job classifications, Licensed Practical Nurses, Nurses' Aides, and Attendants, and then grouping these personnel into one of two patient lifting categories: high lifting frequency (an average of more than five patient lifts per shift) and low lifting frequency (an average of less than three lifts per shift). Information on reported back injuries was obtained from personnel and accident records. The relationship between frequency of patient lifting and reported back injuries was tested using Chi square statistics, total incidence density analysis, logistic modeling, and survival distribution analysis. Both the logistic analysis and the survival distribution analysis provided a statistically significant association between lifting frequency and back injury reporting frequency. Although the Attendants had the highest incidence densities in both patient lifting categories, the differences were not statistically significant. The authors conclude that the risk of back injury appears to be a function of the number of patient lifts performed.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Contract; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Occupational-hazards; Data-processing; Health-surveys; Biostatistics; Accident-statistics; Occupational-exposure; Work-practices
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Task Order Report
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: February 11, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division