Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2013;39(2):164-169    pdf full text

doi:10.5271/sjweh.3329

Patient handling and risk for developing persistent low-back pain among female healthcare workers

by Holtermann A, Clausen T, Jørgensen MB, Burdorf A, Andersen LL

Objective The aim of this study was to investigate the risk of persistent low-back pain (LBP) based on the number of patient-handling activities among female healthcare workers with no LBP and those with sub-chronic LBP at baseline.

Method Female healthcare workers in the eldercare services answered a questionnaire about the number of patient-handling activities (<1, 1–2, 3–10, >10 per day) and days with LBP in 2005. We prospectively investigated the odds ratio (OR) for developing persistent (>30 days in the past 12 months) LBP in 2006 from the frequency of patient-handling activities using multi-adjusted logistic regression analysis among female healthcare workers without LBP (0 days in the past 12 months) (N=1544) and with sub-chronic LBP (1–30 days in the past 12 months) (N=2294) in 2005.

Results Among female healthcare workers with sub-chronic LBP at baseline, the multi-adjusted OR for developing persistent LBP was 1.04 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.71–1.52] for those with 1–2 activities, 1.29 (95% CI 0.91–1.83) for those with 3–10 activities, and 1.61 (95% CI 1.07–2.42) for those with >10 patient-handling activities per day (P=0.01 for trend), referencing those not performing patient-handling activities. Among female healthcare workers without LBP at baseline, we did not find an increased risk for developing persistent LBP within one year resulting from performing several patient-handling activities.

Conclusion Preventive initiatives for persistent LBP may aim to keep the number of patient-handling activities below ten per day among healthcare workers with sub-chronic LBP.

The following articles refer to this text: 2014;40(1):74-81; 2015;41(6):511-518; 2016;42(2):125-134