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Predictors of lost time from work among nursing personnel who sought treatment for back pain.
Pompeii LA; Lipscomb HJ; Dement JM
Work 2010 Nov; 37(3):285-295
OBJECTIVE: To examine possible predictors of lost workdays among nurses and nurses' aides who sought treatment for work-related back pain. PARTICIPANTS: Nursing staff employed at a tertiary care medical center over a 13-year time period (1994 through 2006). METHODS: We used existing data from clinic surveys administered to nursing personnel during their initial treatment visit to the hospital's occupational health clinic. Predictors of losing = 7 and = 8 workdays was examined. RESULTS: 589 of 708 (83%) nursing personnel with complaints of work-related back pain completed the survey, with 31% resulting in lost workdays. Experiencing sudden onset of pain (RR:1.9; 95% CI: 1.1, 3.1), a combination of severe pain with numbness and tingling in the back/legs (RR: 7.4; 95% CI: 2.9, 18.6), severe pain only (RR: 4.4; 95% CI: 1.8, 11.1), numbness and tingling in the back/legs only (RR: 3.5; 95% CI: 1.0, 12.2), and working < 5 years at the hospital (RR: 2.3; 95% CI: 1.2, 4.7) were predictive of losing >/= 8 workdays. Job title, work demands, work conflicts, and most psychosocial factors were not predictive. CONCLUSIONS: Severe pain, neurologic symptoms and sudden onset of pain were predictive of delayed return-to-work; however, these symptoms alone should not be considered indicators of poor outcomes given that most workers who reported these symptoms returned to work in less than 8 days. Among these health care workers, lost workdays appear to be related to more severe pathology rather than workplace characteristics.
Back-injuries; Health-care-facilities; Health-care-personnel; Health-services; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Manual-lifting; Mathematical-models; Medical-personnel; Medical-services; Medical-treatment; Musculoskeletal-system; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Neuromotor-system; Nurses; Nursing; Quantitative-analysis; Risk-analysis; Statistical-analysis; Work-analysis; Work-environment; Worker-health; Work-operations; Workplace-studies; Work-practices; Author Keywords: Back injuries; back pain; lost workdays; disability; nurse; nurses' aide
Dr. Lisa A. Pompeii,The University of Texas School of Public Health, Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, 1200 Herman Pressler, W1020, Houston,TX 77030
Issue of Publication
University of Texas
Page last reviewed: May 8, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division