Prevalence and potential determinants of musculoskeletal disease symptoms among care workers in long-term care facilities in South Korea

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Abstract

Aim:

The purpose of this study was to investigate the degree and influencing factors of musculoskeletal disease symptoms among care workers in long-term care facilities in South Korea.

Methods:

Participants in this cross-sectional study were 265 care workers in 15 long-term care facilities. Data were collected between 1 and 27 August 2011, using the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA) code H-30–2003 and analyzed using logistic regression with SPSS ver. 18.0.

Results:

Of the care workers, 88.7% had pain in at least one of the six body parts. The highest prevalence of musculoskeletal disease symptoms was in the lower back and legs. Among the organizational factors, there were significant differences in neck pain by work shift and patient grade. Neck pain was more severe in the 8 h shift group than 12–24 h shift group. Care workers caring for patients who were classified in the first patient grade of long-term care insurance had 4.73 times more complaints of musculoskeletal symptoms in the neck, 9.54 times (95% confidence interval [CI] = 3.37–27.02) in the hand and wrist, 4.37 times (95% CI = 1.59–12.03) in the lower back, and 2.96 times (95% CI: 1.17–7.51) in the leg and foot.

Conclusion:

To prevent and manage musculoskeletal disease symptoms, activities and the intensity of work should be arranged systematically and planned, and the improvement of organizational factors such as appropriate assignment by patients' severity is considered.

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