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Interventions for musculoskeletal disorders in computer-intense office work: a framework for evaluation.
Cole DC; Wells RP
Work Stress 2002 Apr-Jun; 16(2):95-106
Workplace interventions for work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) are usually multifaceted. These interventions tend to deal with multiple work organizational and physical risk factors and have components occurring at different organizational levels. The organizations are often changing, with shifting initiatives and priorities. Evaluation of such interventions poses challenges in documentation of implementation, reduction in exposures, and assessment of improved health outcomes. We describe a means-outcomes framework for evaluating field interventions that includes strategies, activities, objectives and metrics for outcomes using quantitative and qualitative methods. We demonstrate application of the framework to our work with a large newspaper, which builds on existing laboratory, aetiological and best practice evidence to improve musculoskeletal health. The newspaper had adopted several organizational strategies aimed at improving financial performance, including restructuring into teams, a major set of moves/renovations and introduction of new software. Concomitant WMSD-related organizational strategies include an ergonomics policy, human resources activities, promotion of team work, changes in environment and equipment specifications and development of information systems. We have found the framework useful for focusing the purpose of data collection and ensuring coverage of important components. At the same time, it provides sufficient flexibility to respond to the changing process of implementation.
Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Ergonomics; Job-stress; Job-analysis; Stress; Risk-factors; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-health; Quantitative-analysis; Qualitative-analysis; Psychological-stress; Author Keywords: Intervention evaluation; Work organization; Ergonomics; Musculoskeletal disorders; Work stress
Institute for Work and Health, 481 University Avenue, Suite 800, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5G 2E9
Issue of Publication
Work and Stress
The Institute for Work and Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division