-To identify the musculoskeletal disorders experienced by health care employees
- To establish as far as possible the causes of occupational strain
- To investigate indices of occupational strain
- To examine the physiological and biomechanical effects of alterations in work-rest schedules - To implement a preventive model to be used in back problems in nursing personnel
Epidemiological investigations of musculoskeletal disorders will be conducted amongst health care professionals (nurses and physiotherapists). The incidence, prevalence and possible causes of occupational musculoskeletal disorders will be established by the development and implementation of an extensive questionnaire. Prospective studies within hospital Occupational Health Departments will also establish the causes of accidents and injuries amongst health care employees. The risks relating to occupational, environmental and personal factors, and the experience of musculoskeletal disorders will be assessed by the performance of ergonomic assessments within the workplace environment. The interaction between the epidemiological information and data acquired during the ergonomic assessments will enable the identification of high risk occupational, environmental, personal and organisational factors with respect to the incidence and prevalence of accidents and/or musculoskeletal disorders. Laboratory and field based investigations of the indices of physiological loading in hospital porters will be related to musculoskeletal discomfort. Preventive intervention strategies may be applied in terms of alternative work-rest cycles to reduce levels of occupational strain both in terms of physiological indices and the compressive loads on the spine.
A motor and psycho-social preventive model to be used in preventing spinal problems in nursing personnel will be developed, tested and implemented. The factors affecting/not affecting spinal problems in nursing personnel, both separately and in combination will be identified. The model will constitute ergonomic, biomechanical, policy and psychological recommendations with an aim to improve the profession of hospital nurses by reducing nurses' incapacity to work. The project not only has implications for improvements in hospital working environments, adaptations to work schedules and the training given to nurses. The consequences of changes to these factors has implications relating to job satisfaction, reducing levels of staff absenteeism and of course reducing the incidence and prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
1081 BT Amsterdam