Interventions in health-care settings to protect musculoskeletal health: a systematic review

Health-care workers face a high risk of developing injuries to their muscles, tendons or other soft-tissues, including back pain. These injuries are also known as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

Activities such as lifting and handling patients are one of the main causes of MSDs in health-care workers.

Many prevention initiatives – such as using mechanical patient lifts, physical exercise programs or education programs – have been used to try to prevent MSDs from occurring in health-care workers. However, little is known about the effectiveness of these programs.

IWH conducted a systematic review to summarize the existing scientific literature on the effectiveness of MSD prevention programs for health-care workers.

The findings and recommendations from this review will be of interest to those involved in health and safety issues in health-care settings, including health-care workers, managers, policy-makers, unions researchers and others.

Please do not cite without permission of lead author

Summary: Prevention programs for health-care workers (319 KB)

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Amick BC, Tullar J, Brewer S, Irvin E, Mahood Q, Pompeii L, Wang A, Van Eerd D, Gimeno D, Evanoff B