Physical and psychosocial work environmental risk factors for back injury among healthcare workers: Prospective cohort study

Tidsskriftartikel - 2019

Resume

The incidence of occupational back injury in the healthcare sector remains high despite decades of efforts to reduce such injuries. This prospective cohort study investigated the risk factors for back injury during patient transfer. Healthcare workers (n = 2080) from 314 departments at 17 hospitals in Denmark replied to repeated questionnaires sent every 14 days for one year. Using repeated-measures binomial logistic regression, controlling for education, work, lifestyle, and health, the odds for back injury (i.e., sudden onset episodes) were modeled. On the basis of 482 back injury events, a higher number of patient transfers was an important risk factor, with odds ratio (OR) 3.58 (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.51-5.10) for 1-4 transfers per day, OR 7.60 (5.14-11.22) for 5-8 transfers per day, and OR 8.03 (5.26-12.27) for 9 or more transfers per day (reference: less than 1 per day). The lack of necessary assistive devices was a common phenomenon during back injury events, with the top four lacking devices being sliding sheets (30%), intelligent beds (19%), walking aids (18%), and ceiling lifts (13%). For the psychosocial factors, poor collaboration between and support from colleagues increased the risk for back injury, with OR 3.16 (1.85-5.39). In conclusion, reducing the physical burden in terms of number of daily patient transfers, providing the necessary assistive devices, and cultivating good collaboration between colleagues are important factors in preventing occupational back injuries among healthcare workers.

Reference

Andersen LL, Vinstrup J, Villadsen E, Jay K, Jakobsen MD. Physical and psychosocial work environmental risk factors for back injury among healthcare workers: Prospective cohort study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2019;16(22):.
doi: 10.3390/ijerph16224528

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