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Stressful tasks that cause back injuries in nursing aides.

El-Ayouby N; Myers W
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 9-15, 1998, Atlanta, Georgia. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 1998 May; :33
This study determined the most stressful tasks, as perceived by the nursing aides in three nursing home facilities, that result in back injuries. It was suggested by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) that consideration should be given to back injury problems of that industry. The population under study consisted of 30 participants from three nursing homes. The study utilized two-phase questionnaires. The first phase questionnaire was used to obtain information from the nursing aides on the stressful tasks experienced during residents' care. Participants were asked to identify the five major tasks that, in their opinion, are considered most seriously stressful to the back. The second phase of the questionnaire was developed from the combined statements received in the first phase of the questionnaire. A total of 25 ratable statements were collected and sent to the same participants to rate them according to their severity. A rating of 1 is not stressful and rating of 4 is severely stressful. Response total was 90% (N=27). Twelve statements were rated severely stressful to the back. All 12 of them fall under 1 of 3 categories: tasks involving sudden movements (mean rating of 3.7), tasks involving lifting (mean rating of 3.5), and tasks involving posture (mean rating of 3.05). ANOVA (p=0.05) analysis was used to determine the differences in mean perceptions among the three nursing homes. A total agreement among the nursing homes on the severely stressful tasks was noticed. However, there were some disagreements determined among them on the slightly stressful tasks. Data indicate that tasks involving sudden movements, e.g., falling with a patient, not being aware of patient's ability to perform, the patient's resistance, and slipping, could result in fall. When the body trunk muscles overrespond to this fall, the lower back is overloaded and injury occurs. This finding differs from that in the literature regarding back injuries in hospital settings where lifting is the major cause of back injuries. This difference could be attributed to the nature of the patients in the nursing home facilities, In conclusion, there is a need for an assessment of biomechanical exposure in the nursing home industry. Additionally, there is a need to mandate training for handling techniques that use ergonomic principles.
Nursing; Nurses; Health-care-facilities; Health-care-personnel; Health-surveys; Questionnaires; Task-performance; Physical-stress; Back-injuries; Ergonomics; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Manual-lifting; Performance-capability; Work-capability; Overloading; Biomechanics; Training; Muscle-stress; Body-mechanics
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 9-15, 1998, Atlanta, Georgia
Page last reviewed: April 1, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division