Author(s): Cavanagh J, Brake M, Kearns D, Hong P
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Workplace-related musculoskeletal pain has been studied in various occupations, but it is rarely reported in the surgical literature. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine work-related discomfort and injury among pediatric otolaryngologists and to assess their knowledge of workplace ergonomic principles. METHODS: We surveyed current North American members of the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology. Our main outcomes were whether the physician had ever experienced discomfort or physical symptoms that they attributed to their surgical practice. RESULTS: Response rate of 43.7\% was attained, and 62.0\% of respondents reported experiencing pain or discomfort that they attributed to their surgical practice. Women were significantly more likely to report experiencing pain or discomfort that they associated with their surgical practice (P = .033). There were no significant differences found among length of time in practice, academic vs community setting, or number of surgeries completed by the surgeon. Some of the surgeons (31.0\%) were aware of ergonomic principles, and of those who were aware, 83.9\% had implemented ergonomic principles into their surgical practice. CONCLUSION: Almost two thirds of surgeons who responded to the survey reported experiencing pain or discomfort that they attributed to their surgical practice. Only a minority of respondents were aware of ergonomic principles. These findings may confirm that most physicians believe that their physical health is affected by their operative environment. Increased knowledge of surgical ergonomics may lead to strategies that improve workplace health and safety. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Am J Otolaryngol
and referenced in Industrial Engineering & Management