An investigation was carried out by teams from various centres coordinated by the EPM (Ergonomics of Posture and Movement) Research Unit on 54 different hospitals in various regions of northern and central Italy. The teams examined a total of 3341 health workers whose job involved manual handling of patients (553 males and 2788 females, 1568 working in hospitals and 1773 in geriatric residences). Numerous meetings were held to ensure that the methods of assessing the exposure indexes and spinal impairment were identical in the various teams. The final data were processed centrally at the EPM Research Unit. The sample analyzed may be considered as representative of the situation in hospitals in Italy, at least for northern and central Italy. The mean age was 36 years, mean length of service in the department 6 years and mean length of job duration not exceeding 10 years; staff turnover was high. Physical examination revealed that 8.4% of the workers had had at least one episode of acute low back pain in the previous 12 months: i.e., 4 times the values of the reference groups. Also in the case of clinical-functional spondyl-arthropathies of the lumbosacral spine, in the females there was a significantly higher prevalence than in the reference groups. All disorders were more severe in sectors more at risk, i.e., old peoples homes, rehabilitation centres, orthopaedic and surgical departments, and in any case higher in old peoples homes and geriatric residences. The initial data concerning the ratio between presence of spinal disease and risk index were also positive.
|Translated title of the contribution||Preliminary epidemiological data on clinical symptoms in health care workers with tasks involving manual lifting of patients in hospital wards|
|Number of pages||28|
|Journal||Medicina del Lavoro|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health