Racial and ethnic disparities in work-related injuries and socio-economic resources among nursing assistants employed in US nursing homes

Authors

  • SangWoo Tak ScD, MPH,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cincinnati, Ohio
    • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, R-17, Cincinnati, OH 45226.
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  • Toni Alterman PhD,

    1. Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cincinnati, Ohio
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  • Sherry Baron MD, MPH,

    1. Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cincinnati, Ohio
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  • Geoffrey M. Calvert MD, MPH

    1. Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cincinnati, Ohio
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  • This article is a US Government work and as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.

Abstract

Background

We aimed to estimate the proportion of nursing assistants (NAs) in the US with work-related injuries and insufficient socio-economic resources by race/ethnicity.

Methods

Data from the 2004 National Nursing Assistant Survey (NNAS), a nationally representative sample survey of NAs employed in United States nursing homes, were analyzed accounting for the complex survey design.

Results

Among 2,880 participants, 44% reported “scratch, open wounds, or cuts” followed by “back injuries” (17%), “black eyes or other types of bruising” (16%), and “human bites” (12%). When compared to non-Hispanic white NAs, the adjusted rate ratio (RR) for wound/cut was 0.74 for non-Hispanic black NAs (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.65–0.85). RRs for black eyes/bruises were 0.18 for non-Hispanic black NAs (95% CI: 0.12–0.26), and 0.55 for Hispanic NAs (95% CI: 0.37–0.82).

Conclusions

Minority racial and ethnic groups were less likely to report having experienced injuries compared with non-Hispanic white NAs. Future research should focus on identifying preventable risk factors, such as differences by race and ethnicity in the nature of NA jobs and the extent of their engagement in assisting patients with activities of daily living. Am. J. Ind. Med. 53:951–959, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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