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Rehabilitation versus Nursing Home Nurses' Low Back and Neck-Shoulder Complaints

Alperovitch-Najenson, Deborah PT, PhD1; Sheffer, Dvora PT1; Treger, Iuly MD, PhD2; Finkels, Tova BA, RN2; Kalichman, Leonid PT, PhD3

doi: 10.1002/rnj.172
Continuing Education

Purpose: To compare the prevalence of those complaints in nurses working in rehabilitation departments and nursing homes, and to evaluate factors associated with them.

Design: A cross-sectional study in rehabilitation and in nursing home departments.

Methods: Data were obtained from questionnaires relating to basic demographics, prevalence of musculoskeletal complaints, potentially harmful positions and actions and job satisfaction.

Findings: Multivariate analyses demonstrated higher work-related musculoskeletal complaints for nurses in rehabilitation than nursing home nurses (p = .012 for low back pain; p < .001 for neck-shoulder pain). Trunk bending, static posture, repetitive tasks, and recognition of superiors were associated with low back pain. Freedom to choose work techniques and degree of diversity at work were associated with neck-shoulder pain.

Conclusions: Differences between the nurse groups as to work tasks might be a reason for differences in musculoskeletal complaints. Further comparisons between nurses working in different fields might reveal more accurate potential risk factors for work-related musculoskeletal complaints.

Clinical Relevance: Instruction for static/awkward posture avoidance, by using mechanical aids and designing a friendlier environment, should be part of a nursing staff injury prevention strategy.

1 Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

2 Loewenstein Rehabilitation Hospital, Ra'anana, Israel

3 Department of Physical Therapy, Recanati School for Community Health Professions, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel

Accepted 26 March 2014


D. Alperovitch-Najenson, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.


Grant sponsor: The Legacy Foundation; Grant sponsor: Loewenstein Rehabilitation Hospital; Grant sponsor: Ra'anana; Grant sponsor: the Israeli Ministry of Industry; Grant sponsor: Trade and Labor, Israel.

The work was performed in the following institutions: Loewenstein Rehabilitation Hospital, Ra'anana, Israel; Hadasim Nursing Home, Benei Braq, Israel; Beit Avraham Nursing Home, Haifa, Israel.

[The acknowledgments section in this article was changed on 9 September 2014 after original online publication.]

© 2015 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.
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