Association between shift working and musculoskeletal symptoms among nursing personnel

Mirsaeed Attarchi, Saeed Raeisi, Mohamad Namvar, Majid Golabadi



Background: Some health problems are more prevalent in shift workers than day workers. Musculoskeletal disorders are considered as one of the most common health-related problems that can cause disability among health care workers. The aim of this study was to assess the associations between shift working and the prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms (MSs) among nursing personnel.

Materials and Methods: This study was conducted among 454 health care workers including nurses and nurses’ aides in a general hospital in Iran. A Nordic musculoskeletal questionnaire was used to evaluate the prevalence of MSs. Logistic regression analysis with adjusting for confounding factors was performed to evaluate the associations between shift working and the prevalence of MSs.

Results: Lower back, knees, and upper back symptoms with the prevalence of 57.4%, 48.4%, and 47%, respectively, were the most common MSs. The prevalence of MSs in eight regions of the body (lower back, neck, knees, upper back, shoulder, wrist, buttock, and ankle) was higher among shift workers than day workers. The differences were statistically signifi cant only in the lower back and ankle regions (P < 0.05). Odds Ratio for lower back symptoms in shift workers was 1.94 compared to day workers (P = 0.003).

Conclusion: Findings of this study suggested that shift working could be associated with increased prevalence of lower back disorders among nursing personnel. This study emphasizes on the importance of proper work planning and regulating working hours for nursing personnel.

Key words: Health personnel, Iran, musculoskeletal pain, nurses, nurses’ aides, work

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