WORK-RELATED MUSCULOSKELETAL DISORDERS: A SURVEY OF PHYSIOTHERAPISTS IN SAURASHTRA REGION
Keywords:Physiotherapist, Work related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMDs), Occupational injuries
Background: Physiotherapists working in India are at high risk of Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WRMD). The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence, identify the risk factors and coping strategies for WRMDs among physiotherapists of Saurashtra region.
Methods: A self administered semi structure questionnaire was sent via e-mail to 34 physiotherapists of Saurashtra region. The questionnaire consisted of demographic information including age and clinical experience; self reports of work related musculoskeletal injuries, perceived job related risk factors and strategies or responses that are adopted for prevention were obtained. The data obtained were analyzed using the Microsoft Excel 2007.
Results: The questionnaire was returned by 29 physiotherapists, giving a response rate of 85%. Of 29 subjects, 20 were affected by WRMDs in at least one body part in last one year. Low back (35%) followed by neck (25%) and shoulders (15%) were the most commonly affected region. The risk factors quoted by most of the respondents were managing large number of patients in a day, adoption of constant uncomfortable postures and manual therapy techniques. The most commonly adopted coping strategy identified was decreased patients contact hours (22.2%).
Conclusions: Physiotherapists who provide their services in prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries are suffering from occupational musculoskeletal injuries. Incidence of WRMDs is very high. Risk factors and the coping strategies of WRMDs among physiotherapists of Saurashtra region are identified. Further research is required to build up effective preventive or ergonomic strategies.
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