Effectiveness of participatory training for prevention of musculoskeletal disorders: a randomized controlled trial

  • Wenzhou Yu
  • Ignatius T. S. Yu
  • Xiaorong Wang
  • Zhimin Li
  • Sabrina Wan
  • Hong Qiu
  • Hui Lin
  • Shaohua Xie
  • Trevor Sun
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00420-012-0775-3

Cite this article as:
Yu, W., Yu, I.T.S., Wang, X. et al. Int Arch Occup Environ Health (2013) 86: 431. doi:10.1007/s00420-012-0775-3

Abstract

Purpose

Health and safety training program has been applied to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in workplace. We evaluated the effectiveness of participatory training and didactic training programs on MSD prevention among frontline workers in Shenzhen, China.

Methods

The authors randomly assigned 918 workers from intervention factories to receive participatory training (intervention group), and 907 workers from intervention factories and 1,654 workers from control factories to receive didactic training (control_1 group, control_2 group, respectively) from June 1, 2008 to November 30, 2009. Participants were asked to report experience of ache, pain or discomfort in 10 body parts at baseline and 1 year after training. Data were analyzed to compare the MSD prevalence 1 year before and 1 year after training in different groups from 2009 to 2010.

Results

The follow-up rate was 61 % (2,120/3,479) at 1 year after training. In the year after training, there were no statistically significant changes in the proportion of workers who reported MSD in any body part. MSD prevalence rates in the intervention group reduced from 16.8 to 9.9 % for lower extremities (χ2 = 13.102, p < 0.001) and from 12.9 to 8.3 % (χ2 = 9.433, p = 0.002) for wrist and finger at 1 year after training. However, the rates did not change significantly for upper back, lower back, neck, shoulder and elbow in the intervention group and for all 10 body parts in two control groups.

Conclusions

Overall, the training programs did not seem to prevent the occurrence of MSD among frontline workers. However, participatory training might be effective to reduce MSD in the lower extremities and wrist and finger.

Keywords

Manufacturing workers Participatory training Musculoskeletal disorder Randomized controlled trial 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wenzhou Yu
    • 1
  • Ignatius T. S. Yu
    • 2
  • Xiaorong Wang
    • 2
  • Zhimin Li
    • 3
  • Sabrina Wan
    • 4
  • Hong Qiu
    • 2
  • Hui Lin
    • 3
  • Shaohua Xie
    • 2
  • Trevor Sun
    • 4
  1. 1.China Center for Disease Control and PreventionBeijingChina
  2. 2.The School of Public Health and Primary CareThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatin, NTHong Kong, China
  3. 3.Shenzhen Prevention and Treatment Center for Occupational DiseaseShenzhenChina
  4. 4.Hong Kong Workers’ Health CentreKowloonHong Kong, China

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