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Keywords:

  • community nurses;
  • ergonomic;
  • occupational health;
  • pilot study;
  • work-related musculoskeletal disorders

szeto g.p.y., law k.y., lee e., lau t., chan s.y. & law s.-w. (2010) Multifaceted ergonomic intervention programme for community nurses: pilot study. Journal of Advanced Nursing66(5), 1022–1034.

Abstract

Title. Multifaceted ergonomic intervention programme for community nurses: pilot study.

Aim.  This paper is a report of a pilot study conducted to investigate the effect of a tailor-made ergonomic intervention programme for community nurses.

Background.  The nursing profession is known to be a high risk group for work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Community nurses are at risk as they have to travel to patients’ homes and work in varied environments daily. Their occupational risk factors are unique and intervention strategies need to be specially designed to address these issues.

Method.  The study was conducted from August 2007 to September 2008 in Hong Kong with community nurses from three hospitals. The intervention group (n = 14) received a multi-faceted ergonomic intervention programme over an 8-week period, with group training, onsite individual training, equipment modification, exercise programme, typing and computer workstation advice. The control group (n = 12) received no interventions. Both groups had baseline and follow-up assessments, which included musculoskeletal symptoms, perceived risk factors and functional outcome and physical mobility measures.

Results.  The intervention group showed statistically significantly improved symptom scores and neck and upper limb functional outcomes at postintervention. The control group showed no change in symptom or functional outcomes.

Conclusion.  A multifaceted intervention programme may be more effective than interventions that mainly focus on ergonomic training and could be considered by community or home care nursing groups in other countries. The programme was based on risk assessment and may be a useful reference for other nursing groups in other countries.