Author(s): Byrns G, Reeder G, Jin G, Pachis K
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Abstract Back pain disability is a serious and costly problem affecting the nursing profession. The purposes of this study were to determine risk factors for work-related low back pain (WRLBP) in registered nurses and to record the reported use or reasons for nonuse of mechanical lifts. Our hypothesis was that workers who attributed the cause of WRLBP to their own actions would be knowledgeable about back safety, would be more likely to use lifts, and would report less WRLBP. A random sample of 270 registered nurses was selected from two acute care hospitals in central Illinois to identify WRLBP risk factors. This cross-sectional study gathered information on individual, physical workload, psychological, and organizational factors that may present a risk for WRLBP. Information was also collected on the use of safety devices and back pain symptoms. The response rate was 50.4\%. Nearly 84\% of respondents had WRLBP in the past, and 36.2\% had WRLBP in the past year that limited movement or interfered with routine activities. Among the risk factors significantly associated with WRLBP were more years worked in nursing, frequent lifting, and low social support. Only 11\% reported that they routinely used mechanical lifting devices, and the primary reason given for failure to use lifting equipment was unavailability of equipment. The reasons for the lack of use of mechanical lifts should be investigated and addressed.
This article was published in J Occup Environ Hyg
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy