Risk Indicators for Reported Over-Exertion Back Injuries among Female Nursing Personnel

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Abstract

We conducted a case-referent study to identify and quantify work-related and non-work-related risk indicators for reported over-exertion back injuries among nursing personnel. The source population was all nursing personnel employed in the Stockholm County hospitals during a 32-month period. The 240 cases and 614 referents completed questionnaires about occupation, type of clinic, working hours, shift work, patient transfers, perceived exertion, back pain, prior back injury, job strain, body mass index (BMI), smoking, immigrant status, physical training, and self-rated fitness. The highest relative risks (RR) were observed for work-related factors: working at an orthopedic clinic (RR = 5.2; 95% CI = 2.7–10.2), ≥1 patient transfer/shift (RR = 2.7; 95% CI = 1.6–4.5), and working full-time (RR = 2.4; 95% CI = 1.6–3.6). Training in the use of transfer devices, and regular use of transfer devices, reduced the relative risk from patient transfer. Among the non-work-related factors, only body mass index ≥25 kg/m 2 and immigrant status was associated with a slight increase in relative risk.

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