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Epidemiologic Studies of the Back Pain Problems of Nursing Personnel - The Need for Consistency in Future Studies.
Trends in Ergonomics/Human Factors IV, Proceedings of the Annual International Industrial Ergonomics and Safety Conference, Miami, Florida, 9-12 June, 1987 1987:803-809
Due to a lack of consistency in terminology used in discussing ergonomic analyses of physical problems encountered in the nursing profession, it has been difficult to make comparisons between studies of back pain. Frequently, the anatomical regions included in the studies have differed significantly and there has also been diversity regarding the exclusion of some back pain experiences from numerator data. The terms back pain, back pain impairment, and disabling back pain were defined. Different measures of risk used by different authors were described, including point prevalence, period prevalence, lifetime prevalence, incidence ratio, and incidence rate. The author recommends that uniformity in defining the scope of the health problem under study be vigorously sought. Some suggestions were offered for achieving uniformity in measuring the extent of back pain. For obtaining such measurements, period prevalence was preferred to point prevalence or lifetime prevalence. One year periods have been the most common for measuring incidence rate and incidence ratio. In order to instill some uniformity in research methods and terminology, it is recommended that a committee of leading experts in the field be formed to develop recommendations for some basic standards to be followed in future research activities. The committee would not necessarily be concerned solely with nursing personnel but could be expanded to include occupational back pain in general. For the more narrow approach to nursing personnel, the committee should include representatives of professional nursing, occupational medicine, physical therapy, industrial engineering, and occupational epidemiology.
Nurses; Health-care-personnel; Medical-personnel; Biomechanics; Musculoskeletal-system; Back-injuries; Physiological-response; Physiological-stress; Job-stress;
Infectious Diseases; Disease and Injury; Low Back Disorders; Musculoskeletal-system;
Trends in Ergonomics/Human Factors IV, Proceedings of the Annual International Industrial Ergonomics and Safety Conference, Miami, Florida, 9-12 June, 1987
Page last reviewed: February 11, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division