Workorganization and low back pain in nursing personnel

Mary Louise Skovron, Michael N. Mulvihill, Robert C. Sterling, Margareta Nordin, Ghislaine Tougas, Maureen Gallagher, Edward J. Speedling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Nursing personnel are at a high risk from occupational low back injury. Work organization has been suggested as one factor playing a part in the aetiology of occupational low back pain. Baseline data for a prospective epidemiology study were gathered by means of a questionnaire. One part of the questionnaire elicited characteristics of work organization, perceived autonomy, the relationship with head nurse and satisfaction in the relationship with co-workers. Information on history of musculoskeletal problems, reported frequency of lifting and personal characteristics was also gathered.Of 787 nursing staff at two acute care hospitals, 154 (19-6%) reported troublesome low back pain occurring within the previous 6 months. From univariate analyses, such characteristics of work organization as shift, type of schedule and primary versus functional nursing were not associated with low back pain. The relationship with head nurse and perceived autonomy of the job also werenot related to recent back pain. Recent low back pain was significantly associated withyounger age, the job category ‘registered nurse’ and greater satisfaction in relationships with co-workers. Theseassociations were confirmed in multivariate analysis. None of the work organization factors examined, with the exception of satisfaction with co-workers, were associated withback pain in this study. Moreover, thepositive association of satisfaction with coworkers suggests that interventions to improve working relationships may not be helpfulin prevention programmes. To some extent, these results are susceptible to biases resulting from selective attrition from nursingandselective participation in the study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-366
Number of pages8
JournalErgonomics
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Nursing
Low Back Pain
pain
personnel
nursing
work organization
co-worker
Nurses
Supervisory Nursing
Personnel
nurse
Back Injuries
Epidemiology
Nursing Staff
Back Pain
autonomy
area of activity
Appointments and Schedules
nursing staff
Multivariate Analysis

Keywords

  • Health care workers
  • Low back pain
  • Occupational health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Psychology(all)
  • Applied Psychology

Cite this

Skovron, M. L., Mulvihill, M. N., Sterling, R. C., Nordin, M., Tougas, G., Gallagher, M., & Speedling, E. J. (1987). Workorganization and low back pain in nursing personnel. Ergonomics, 30(2), 359-366. https://doi.org/10.1080/00140138708969719

Workorganization and low back pain in nursing personnel. / Skovron, Mary Louise; Mulvihill, Michael N.; Sterling, Robert C.; Nordin, Margareta; Tougas, Ghislaine; Gallagher, Maureen; Speedling, Edward J.

In: Ergonomics, Vol. 30, No. 2, 1987, p. 359-366.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Skovron, ML, Mulvihill, MN, Sterling, RC, Nordin, M, Tougas, G, Gallagher, M & Speedling, EJ 1987, 'Workorganization and low back pain in nursing personnel', Ergonomics, vol. 30, no. 2, pp. 359-366. https://doi.org/10.1080/00140138708969719
Skovron ML, Mulvihill MN, Sterling RC, Nordin M, Tougas G, Gallagher M et al. Workorganization and low back pain in nursing personnel. Ergonomics. 1987;30(2):359-366. https://doi.org/10.1080/00140138708969719
Skovron, Mary Louise ; Mulvihill, Michael N. ; Sterling, Robert C. ; Nordin, Margareta ; Tougas, Ghislaine ; Gallagher, Maureen ; Speedling, Edward J. / Workorganization and low back pain in nursing personnel. In: Ergonomics. 1987 ; Vol. 30, No. 2. pp. 359-366.
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