Interventions in health-care settings to protect musculoskeletal health: a systematic review
Reasons for the study
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. This systematic review summarized the existing scientific literature on the effectiveness of MSD prevention programs for health-care workers.
This systematic review, completed in 2007, found a moderate level of evidence for the effect of OHS interventions on musculoskeletal health status in health-care settings. Some examples of positive effects reported in different studies were: reductions in injury rates requiring time off work or improvements in self-reported low-back pain. There was moderate evidence that two specific programs had a positive effect: patient handling with multiple components and exercise training.
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Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario