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Keywords:

  • work-related musculoskeletal complaints;
  • harmful positions;
  • psychosocial;
  • rehabilitation;
  • nursing home

Abstract

Purpose

To compare the prevalence of those complaints in nurses working in rehabilitation departments and nursing homes, and to evaluate factors associated with them.

Design

A cross-sectional study in rehabilitation and in nursing home departments.

Methods

Data were obtained from questionnaires relating to basic demographics, prevalence of musculoskeletal complaints, potentially harmful positions and actions and job satisfaction.

Findings

Multivariate analyses demonstrated higher work-related musculoskeletal complaints for nurses in rehabilitation than nursing home nurses (p = .012 for low back pain; p < .001 for neck-shoulder pain). Trunk bending, static posture, repetitive tasks, and recognition of superiors were associated with low back pain. Freedom to choose work techniques and degree of diversity at work were associated with neck-shoulder pain.

Conclusions

Differences between the nurse groups as to work tasks might be a reason for differences in musculoskeletal complaints. Further comparisons between nurses working in different fields might reveal more accurate potential risk factors for work-related musculoskeletal complaints.

Clinical Relevance

Instruction for static/awkward posture avoidance, by using mechanical aids and designing a friendlier environment, should be part of a nursing staff injury prevention strategy.