Lifting behavior, back pain, and back injury among registered nurses in the hospital setting
Joy E. Wachs, PhD, RN, FAAOHN
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Back injury among nursing personnel engaged in direct patient care in the hospital setting has been shown to be a primary occupational health concern. The primary agent of back injuries among nurses has been reported to be the moving of patients. This descriptive, cross sectional survey examined the prevalence of prescribed lifting behavior among registered nurses and the relationship between the behavior and nurse's self report of back injury and back pain. Further, using Suchman's epidemiologic framework, characteristics of the nurse, the patient, and the immediate environment were also ascertained to identify possible antecedents to the behavior. One hundred seventy-eight female registered nurses employed on the general, stepdown, and critical care units of four northern Illinois community hospitals were observed moving adult patients in bed. Following the observation, 155 of the nurses completed and returned a questionnaire which measured the nurses' attitudes toward safety and back injury prevention, their perception of teamwork on the unit, their knowledge of body mechanics, selected demographic characteristics, and their histories of occupationally-related back pain and back injury. Results of the study revealed a prevalence rate of two episodes of prescribed lifting behavior (all behaviors observed performed as specified) per 100 episodes observed. Regression analysis resulted in seven percent of the variance in total lift score explained by the type of patient movement and age of the nurse. Significant relationships were also found between self report of back injury and recall of occupational back pain as evidenced by significant Chi square statistics. Through analysis of variance, recall of back pain during the previous six month period was related to observations of the bed position used during the movement of patients. Based on these results and the limitations of the study, improved measurement must be employed followed by intervention studies to identify mechanisms to increase the prevalence of prescribed lifting behavior and decrease the incidence of back pain and head injury among registered nurses employed in the hospital setting.
This dissertation has also been disseminated through the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. Dissertation/thesis number: 8622094; ProQuest document ID: 303573216. The author still retains copyright.
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|Review Type||None: Degree-based Submission|
|Research Approach||Pilot/Exploratory Study|
Injury Prevention Training;
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