Occupational and individual factors related to musculoskeletal symptoms in five body regions among Swedish nursing personnel

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Abstract

The relationship between individual factors, physical and psychosocial exposure at work, and musculoskeletal symptoms in the neck, shoulders, low back, hands, and knees was studied among female nursing personnel working at a Swedish hospital. The personnel had participated in a course in work technique (patient transfer and handling principles). Prior to the course, the subjects had filled in a questionnaire (n = 688). The aim of this cross-sectional study was to elucidate whether different individual and work factors are related to musculoskeletal symptoms in a specific body region. Due to the cross-sectional design, however, causality cannot be discussed. Univariate analyses and multiple logistic regression analyses were performed and yielded similar results. The latter analyses showed that in the present hospital setting, individual factors together with physical and psychosocial work factors were related to symptoms in the neck, low back, and hands; individual factors and psychosocial work factors were related to symptoms in the shoulders; while only individual factors were related to symptoms in the knees. The results of the present study showed that various individual factors and physical and psychosocial work factors were related to musculoskeletal symptoms in the different body regions. Thus, the identification of risk factors might have far-reaching implications for the way in which effective health programs for prevention should be designed in the hospital setting.

All members of the Moses Study Group are presented in the Acknowledgements