Musculoskeletal pain and reported workplace assault: a prospective study of clinical staff in nursing homes.
Miranda-H; Punnett-L; Gore-RJ; ProCare Research Team
Hum Factors 2014 Feb; 56(1):215-227
Objective: This study examined prospectively the effect of workplace violence on musculoskeletal symptoms among nursing home workers. Background: Previously we reported a cross-sectional relationship between physical assaults at work and musculoskeletal pain. This follow-up provides stronger evidence of the effect of workplace violence on musculoskeletal outcomes within the same workforce over two years. Method: Nursing home workers who responded to three consecutive annual surveys formed the study cohort (n = 344). The outcomes were any musculoskeletal pain, widespread pain, pain intensity, pain interference with work and sleep, and co-occurring pain with depression. The main predictor was self-reported physical assault at work during the 3 months preceding each survey. Prevalence ratios (PRs) were assessed with log-binomial regression, adjusting for other workplace and individual factors. Results: Every fourth nursing home worker, and 34% of nursing aides, reported persistent workplace assault over the 2 years. Among respondents assaulted frequently, two thirds experienced moderate to extreme musculoskeletal pain, and more than 50% had pain interfering with work and/or sleep. Baseline exposure to assault predicted pain outcomes 1 year later. Repeated exposure was associated with a linear increase over 2 years in the risks of pain intensity, interference with work, and interference with sleep; co-occurring pain and depression had an adjusted PR of 3.6 (95% CI = 1.7-7.9). Conclusion: Workplace assault, especially when repeated over time, increases the risk of pain that may jeopardize workers' ability to remain employed. Application: More effective assault prevention would protect and support the workforce needed to care for our increasing elderly and disabled population.
Human-factors-engineering; Musculoskeletal-system; Humans; Health-care; Health-care-personnel; Nurses; Nursing; Worker-health; Physiological-effects; Physiological-stress; Mental-health; Health-surveys; Health-services; Psychological-effects; Pain-tolerance; Sleep-deprivation; Health-protection; Epidemiology; Work-capability;
Author Keywords: depression; epidemiology; health care; multisite pain; musculoskeletal; sleep; work ability; workplace violence; Total-Worker-Health
Laura Punnett, Department of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts Lowell, One University Avenue, Lowell, MA 01854, USA
Healthcare and Social Assistance
University of Massachusetts, Lowell