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Perceived physical demands and reported musculoskeletal problems in registered nurses.
Trinkoff AM; Lipscomb JA; Geiger-Brown J; Storr CL; Brady BA
Am J Prev Med 2003 Apr; 24(3):270-275
Nursing is physically demanding, and nurses have higher rates of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) than most other occupational groups. The physical demands of nursing may lead some nurses to leave the profession, contributing to the shortage of registered nurses in many workplaces that is a major concern today. As a first step toward reducing MSDs and their consequences, this study was designed to examine the relationship between perceived physical demands and reported neck, shoulder, and back MSDs in nurses. Data were collected anonymously from 1163 randomly selected working nurses (74% response rate) using a cross-sectional survey. The 12-item survey scale (internal reliability coefficient=0.89), rated perceived physical demands such as force, awkward postures, and heavy lifting. Nurses with a presumed MSD case reported relevant past-year symptoms in the neck, shoulder, and/or back lasting >or=1 weeks, or at least monthly, with moderate or more pain, on average. Moderate and high perceived physical demands were significantly associated with reported neck, shoulder, and back MSD cases, even after adjustments for demographic and lifestyle-related covariates. Adjusted odds ratios for highly demanding work (vs low) ranged from 4.98 to 6.13 depending on body site. When analyses were restricted to staff nurses only, the odds ranged from 9.05 to 11.99. Perceived physical demands are associated with reported MSD in registered nurses, and the association is stronger in staff nurses.
Nurses; Nursing; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Back-injuries; Neck-injuries; Health-care-personnel; Sampling; Sampling-methods; Occupational-exposure; Worker-health
Alison M. Trinkoff, ScD, RN, FAAN, Department of Behavioral and Community Health, University of Maryland School of Nursing, 655 W. Lombard Street, Room 625, Baltimore, MD 21201
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Maryland University, Baltimore, Maryland
Page last reviewed: May 22, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division