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Events that Trigger Disabling Back Pain among Nurses.

Jensen RC
Proceedings of the Human Factors Society, 29th Annual Meeting, 1985, :799-801
Injury data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Supplementary Data System was examined to determine what is known about the events which precipitate the onset of back pain in nurses. Records used for analysis were cases in which the injury occurred in 1980 in Idaho, New York, North Carolina or Wisconsin; the case was closed by the workers' compensation agency during 1980 or 1981; the part of body injured was the back; and the nature of the injury was sprain or strain. Source coding was done to isolate cases attributed to patient handling. Nursing aides, licensed practical nurses, registered nurses and health aides were evaluated. Higher percentages of back injuries attributed to lifting or maneuvering of patients were detected by this analysis than by others; this may have been due in part to the fact that workers' compensation requires that injuries arise out of employment in order to be compensable. The author notes that workers' compensation data may also include mostly cases with higher levels of pain, and nurses may be trained to associate patient handling with back pain. Although the data is inconclusive, the author estimates that 38 to 46 percent of all back pain episodes in nurses, and 73 to 81 percent of compensable back pain, are triggered by patient handling.
Nursing; Occupational-health; Health-care-personnel; Health-surveys; Back-injuries; Work-analysis; Occupational-hazards; Accident-statistics;
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings;
Source Name
Proceedings of the Human Factors Society, 29th Annual Meeting, 1985
Page last reviewed: February 11, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division