Underreporting of Musculoskeletal Disorders among Health Care Workers: Research Needs

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Abstract

Extensive evidence suggests that the numbers of workplace injuries and illnesses reported annually by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, are underestimated for all private employers. Several states have passed safe patient handling legislation to reduce work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) among health care workers. Research is needed to improve accurate reporting of these types of injuries to allow assessment of the effectiveness of this legislation and to enable hospitals and nursing homes to better target interventions to areas at high risk for WMSDs. In the interim, occupational health nurses and the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, Inc., can assist in improving the accuracy of occupational surveillance for these work-related injuries.

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