Document Type : Original Article
Department of Physiotherapy, Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo - State, Nigeria
Objective: Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are one of the major complaints in the work place. This study investigated the prevalence and pattern of work-related MSDs, risk factors and the strategies of management among nurses working in various specialty areas in a tertiary health institution in Nigeria.
Methods: This cross-sectional survey recruited 150 nurses working in various specialty areas of a government own tertiary institution in South-west, Nigeria. Data were obtained on demographic characteristics, occupational profile, work-related musculoskeletal symptoms, perceptions on job risk factors and management strategies. Data were presented using descriptive statistics of percentages and frequency tables.
Results: The most common MSD among the respondents was low back pain (LBP) (60.0%), followed by neck pain (48.0%), while elbow pain was the lowest work-related musculoskeletal pain (5.3%). Findings indicated that respondents working in Intensive Care Unit (100.0%), Dental Unit (100.0%), Accident and Emergency (77.8%), Orthopaedics (75.0%), Ear Nose and Throat (75.0%) and Medicine (72.7%) suffered from LBP more than other respondents in other specialty areas. Results also revealed that frequent bending (64.0%), prolonged standing (49.3%) and frequent lifting of patients (48.0%) were major factors that contributed to LBP among the respondents. Rest (56.0%), pain killer drugs (50.7%), and exercise (36.0 %) were the most preferred pain management strategies among the respondents, while only 12.0% preferred physiotherapy management.
Conclusion: A great percentage of Nigerian nurses suffer from work-related MSDs in their professions with the low back being the most injured body part. Nurses working in Intensive Care Unit, Dental, Accident and Emergency and Orthopedics are more prone to work-related LBP. Education programs on back care and workplace ergonomics are recommended for reduction and prevention of occupational hazards among nurses.
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