Low Back Pain and Back Injury among Health Care Workers.
Occupational Hazards to Health Care Workers, American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1987 1987:41-50
Reported studies on low back pain (LBP) and back injury among health care workers were reviewed, with emphasis on how such injuries compare to those in non health care workers. Measures and terminology used in the literature were described. The relative prevalence ratio (RPR) was defined as the ratio of the prevalence of an occupation to the prevalence of nurses. The relative incidence ratio (RIR) was defined as the ratio of the incidence ratio (IR) of an occupation to the IR of registered nurses. Studies on the prevalence of LBP in nurses as compared to teachers have shown a greater prevalence of LBP in nurses, irrespective of gender. A number of studies were discussed in which RPR for various occupations were calculated. These studies have shown that nursing personnel exhibit a high prevalence of LBP when compared to other occupations, and that this is irrespective of the time period (any time during the life of the subject, recently, or at the point of questioning) during which the LBP occurred. A number of studies which compared the prevalence of LBP in different groups of health care workers were described. The results of these have indicated that nursing aides are the most susceptible group to LBP, with an RIR of 4.78. The author recommends that prevention efforts should be focused on those occupational groups most likely to benefit, although data on the prevalence of LBP are not yet comprehensive enough to target specific employee groups in the health care industry.
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