What affects musculoskeletal risk in nursing assistants and orderlies?

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BACKGROUND: There are many musculoskeletal disorders in staff members at health centres, given the specific characteristics of their work. OBJECTIVE: The objective was to analyse the postural risk of patient handling tasks performed by nursing assistants and orderlies, as well as task factors, individual or organisational, that may be associated with increased postural risk. METHOD: This is a cross-sectional observational study. Analysis was done on 170 postures in five different tasks performed by 39 participants at three hospitals in Andalusia (Spain). The questionnaires collected sociodemographic variables, the task done, and REBA were used for assessment of postural risk. RESULTS: Overall the average REBA score was 9.0±2.4. Moving the patient to the head of the bed was the task with the highest risk (9.8). Handling involving more than two participants at once increased postural risk. Using mechanical aids were associated with high risk in the legs. Logistic regression analyses showed that age, stature, and not having adjustable beds available were associated with postural risk (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Health centre staff perform many tasks with high musculoskeletal disorder risk. Age, stature of the participants, and adjustment of bed height were associated with postural risk.
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