Physical and psychosocial factors associated with musculoskeletal disorders among hospital based nurses in Australia

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Objectives: To assess the demographic, employment, and workplace physical and psychosocial factors associated with musculoskeletal pain in Australian hospital-based nurses. Methods: Information on low back, neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist/hand and knee pain, associated disability and sickness absence, demographic, and workplace physical and psychosocial factors among nurses working for three public hospitals in Melbourne, Australia was collected in a crosssectional study. Association between the risk factor and musculoskeletal pain in the past 12 months was determined using a modified Poisson Regression Model to estimate the prevalence ratio (PR) with 95% confidence interval (95% CI). Results: 1,111 participants (response rate 38.6%) completed the questionnaire. The most common site of pain in the past 12 months was the low back (55.8%), neck (48.2%) shoulder (36.5%), knee (26.8%), hand/wrist (22.6%) and elbow (11.8%). The independent associated physical factors for low back pain was lifting =25 kg (PR 1.18; 95% CI 1.06-1.34) and kneeling/squatting for =1 hr/day (PR 1.17; 95% CI 1.02-1.34), neck pain was associated with keyboard use of =4 hrs/day (PR 1.21; 95% CI 1.04-1.39), hand/wrist pain with repeated movement of the hand/wrist =4 hrs/day (PR 1.74; 95% CI 1.31-2.30), and knee pain was lifting =25 kg (PR 1.49; 95% CI 1.19- 1.86). The most consistent independent psychosocial factors that were associated with MSD at all sites are low job control and high job demand. Conclusion: This study found that workplace physical and psychosocial factors were associated with musculoskeletal pain. Measure to reduce musculoskeletal disorder needs to consider both workplace physical and psychosocial factors.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Job control
  • Job demand
  • Prevalence
  • Workplace risk factors

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