Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2019;45(2):146-157    pdf full text

doi:10.5271/sjweh.3769

Participatory organizational intervention for improved use of assistive devices in patient transfer: a single-blinded cluster randomized controlled trial

by Jakobsen MD, Aust B, Kines P, Madeleine P, Andersen LL

Objectives This randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluated the effect of a participatory organizational intervention for improved use of assistive devices (AD) in patient transfer.

Methods We randomly allocated 27 departments from five hospitals in Denmark to a participatory intervention (14 clusters, 316 healthcare workers) or a control group (13 clusters, 309 healthcare workers). The intervention consisted of 2×2 hour workshops with managers, the hospital’s health and safety staff, and 2–5 healthcare workers from each department. Based on an assessment of barriers and solutions conducted prior to randomization, participants developed an action plan for implementing department-specific solutions for improving the use of AD. Use of necessary AD (using digital counters as primary outcome), and general use of AD (using accelerometers as secondary outcome), pain intensity in the low-back, work-related back injuries during patient transfer, and communication and guidance in the use of AD were measured at baseline, 6 and 12 months.

Results Use of necessary AD (primary outcome), low-back pain, and back injuries did not change in the intervention compared with control group at 12-month follow-up. However, general use of AD measured with accelerometers as well as communication and guidance improved significantly in the intervention versus control group.

Conclusion The intervention did not result in more frequent use of the necessary AD but led to more general use of AD, as well as increased communication and guidance.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 1997;23(4):243-256  2011;37(5):383-393  2014;40(1):74-81
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