The Effects of Multifaceted Ergonomic Interventions on Musculoskeletal Complaints in Intensive Care Units

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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH, vol.17, no.10, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 17 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/ijerph17103719
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Geobase, MEDLINE, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: ergonomics, intensive care nurses, patient lifting system, Cornell musculoskeletal discomfort questionnaire, work-related diseases, LOW-BACK-PAIN, HEALTH-CARE, DISORDERS, NURSES, RISK, PREVALENCE, ASSISTANTS, DISCOMFORT, EQUIPMENT, SYMPTOMS
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Working at intensive care units (ICUs) is considered a risk factor for developing musculoskeletal complaints (MSC). This study was conducted between January 2017 and June 2019 in two ICUs of a university hospital. It was designed as a pre- and post-assessment of the intervention group (IG) (N = 27) compared with a control group (CG) (N = 23) to determine the effects of a multifaceted ergonomics intervention program in reducing MSC. The IG (N: 35) received a multifaceted ergonomic intervention program, which was implemented by an ERGO team over an 18 month period. Four ergonomic interventions were planned as follows: individual level interventions such as training; stretching exercises and motivation meetings; administrative intervention such as a daily 10 min stretching exercises break; engineering interventions such as lifting and usage of auxiliary devices. The CG (N:29) did not receive any intervention. Cornell Musculoskeletal Discomfort Questionnaire (CMDQ) was used to assess MSC in both groups. At the start of the intervention, both groups were similar concerning the number of visits to doctors due to MSC, the number of sick leave days, and total CMDQ scores (p > 0.05 for all). Two factor repeated ANOVA measures were performed for between-groups and within-group analyses. The mean of the initial CMSDQ total scores in both groups increased significantly in the 18th month (p < 0.001). However, the interaction effect of group and time (between and within factors) was not significant (p = 0.992). Work-related MSC is a common occupational health problem among nurses. This study showed that individual-level interventions are not likely to succeed in eliminating manual patient lifting by nurses. Our results suggested that interventions without administrative measures might have limited success