Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders, Workability and its Predictors among Nurses Working in Delhi Hospitals: A Multicentric Survey
Associate Professor, Department of Physiotherapy, Delhi Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research University, Delhi, India.
Introduction: Nurses are considered to be the frontline healthcare professionals with prolonged hours of caring for ailing as well as critically ill patients. This highly demanding work pattern can lead them to experience Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WRMSD) and thus makes it important to study its prevalence and its impact on workability and to develop appropriate supportive strategies to improve their health and work efficiency.
Aim: To explore the prevalence of WRMSDs among hospital nurses in Delhi, including the risk factors and coping strategies adopted by them to avoid the risk of WRMSDs.
Materials and Methods: This multicentric survey, cross-sectional study was conducted in different hospitals in Delhi, India, from October 2020 till March 2021 among 260 nurses. Data were collected using the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and Workability Index (WAI). Pearson’s product moment correlation was used to develop correlations for continuous variables and Biserial correlation test was used for dichotomous variables. The level of significance was 95% (p-value <0.05).
Results: The mean age and mean work duration were 35.62±7.12 years, and 8.60 hours per day, respectively. Out of total, 230 (88.5%) were females and 30 (11.5%) were males. The prevalence of WRMSD was 80% during the last 12 months with low back pain, the most commonly reported problem. The majority of nurses communicated moderate workability (47.7%) and moderate level of stress (73.5%). The result of linear multiple regression analysis showed that the independent variables of (age, work hours, type of job, back and shoulder pain) explained 46.4% of the workability index (R2=0.444, adjusted R2=0.395), and the model significant (F-value=14.76, p-value <0.001).
Conclusion: Nurses are at high-risk for WRMSD as well as observing prolonged stress and reduced workability. Special measures should be taken to ensure that they work in an ergonomically acceptable workplace and that proper body mechanics and stress management practices are adopted. Lifestyle intervention would help in preventing and reducing impact of WRMSDs.