Affiliations: [a] Ergonomic Unit, Department of Occupational Health, University of Milan, Italy | [b] Occupational Medicine Unit, University of Milan, S. Gerardo Hospital, Monza, Italy
Corresponding author: Donatella Camerino, Department of Occupational Health, University of Milan, Ergonomic Unit, Via San Barnaba, 8, 20122 Milan, Italy. E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: A sample of 1159 nurses was recruited to identify the physical and psychosocial factors associated with musculoskeletal symptoms. Environmental and task conditions were investigated to determine the presence and intensity of physical risk. Musculoskeletal disorders were investigated by a standardized questionnaire, while perceptions of stress were evaluated with a questionnaire derived from the Job Content Questionnaire. Postural and lifting risk identified in different wards was medium. Prevalance of back symptoms in females, compared with a control group, was significantly greater for all rachis tracts in all age groups. The prevalence was greater than controls only in the younger males age groups. A high prevalence of lumbar and thoracic musculoskeletal disorders was associated with job seniority, high "physical efforts" and "psychological job demand" in the female group. Reported disabilities resulted associated with "job seniority", "physical effort" and the perception of reduced "social support" in female groups.
Keywords: prevention in hospital, nursing staff, occupational diseases, patient handling, posture, high psychosocial demands, physical exertion, back pain