Quarterly scientific journal

Musculoskeletal disorders in nursing staff

Athanasios Bitsios , Evdokia Tsigganou


Nursing as a profession is proved to be particularly burdensome for the musculoskeletal system due to the activities required in its practice including frequent moving of patients, moving materials and even the handling or transportation of special equipment. Purpose: The recording of musculoskeletal disorders and the investigation of potential risk factors related to the working conditions of nurses in general hospitals of Central Macedonia. Material and Methods: Six hundred questionnaires were distributed including the NMQ (The general Nordic for the Musculoskeletal symptoms Questionnaire) to employed Nurses of Central Macedonia- on May of 2013, of which 440 (73%) were completed. Analysis was performed using the statistical package SPSS 10, with the use of descriptive statistics and the chi-square test. Results: A large percentage (85%) of the nursing staff which has manifested musculoskeletal disorder in the previous six months such as lower back pain, pain in the neck and hands, believes that the work is an important risk factor for these symptoms. It was also reported that 63% had sick leave due to musculoskeletal disorders. Only 12.04% of the staff had been trained in ergonomics. Statistical significant difference was found between the occurrence of musculoskeletal disorders and work sections. Specifically, the nursing staff working in the surgical field had higher incidence of musculoskeletal disorders (40.21%) compared to the emergency department (15.28%), p=0,048. Conclusions: Musculoskeletal disorders are associated with the work activities of nursing staff in each specific work department. A factor that could contribute in the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders is relevant education.

Keywords: Musculoskeletal disorders, nursing staff, musculoskeletal burden, back pain

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