Relationships among Training, Mindfulness, and Workplace Injuries among Nurse Aides Working in Long-Term Care Settings


Nursing aides working in long-term care settings experience high rates of injury, musculoskeletal symptoms, and exposure to resident aggression. Some of these injuries and exposure to aggression may be related to trait mindfulness. The aim of this study was to examine the relationships between trait mindfulness, job training, injury, sources of injury, and musculoskeletal symptoms among nursing aides working in long-term care residential settings. Nursing aides working in long-term care settings across Ohio, USA (n = 152) were recruited for the study. Measures of sociodemographic characteristics, job tenure, job training, mindfulness, work injuries, sources of injuries, and musculoskeletal symptoms were obtained. Correlational analyses demonstrated that higher levels of mindfulness and training were associated with lower levels of injury and musculoskeletal symptoms. They were also significantly inversely associated with the following injury sources: lifting/repositioning resident, bumping/hitting equipment, and resident aggression. Results of hierarchical linear regressions indicated that mindfulness was a significant and unique predictor of injuries, exposure to the most common sources of injury, and musculoskeletal symptoms. Specifically, nursing aides with higher levels of mindfulness were less likely to report experiencing injuries, exposure to the most common sources of injury, and musculoskeletal symptoms. Given that mindfulness can be trained and modified, adding mindfulness training to nursing aide educational programs could potentially help reduce risk for injury among this vulnerable population of workers. Further research exploring the potential benefit of mindfulness training could address this possibility.

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This project was funded by the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation Occupational Safety and Health Research Program.

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Correspondence to William H. O’Brien.

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O’Brien, W.H., Horan, K.A., Singh, S.R. et al. Relationships among Training, Mindfulness, and Workplace Injuries among Nurse Aides Working in Long-Term Care Settings. Occup Health Sci 3, 45–58 (2019).

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  • Nursing aides
  • Mindfulness
  • Training
  • Work injuries
  • Occupation-related musculoskeletal symptoms