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
University of Texas