Work-related musculoskeletal complaints in sonologists

Nicola Magnavita, Liliana Bevilacqua, Paoletta Mirk, Adriano Fileni, Nicolò Castellino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The prevalence of musculoskeletal complaints of the hand and wrist, and the neck and back, in physicians who operate sonography equipment was evaluated, and associations between these complaints and various work-related and personal variables were studied. A questionnaire survey was distributed among physician sonographers (sonologists) in Italy. The relationship between work habits and musculoskeletal complaints was analyzed by logistic regression models adjusted for gender, age, and duration of work with ultrasound. A total of 2041 physician sonographers completed the questionnaire. It was found that a large proportion of the subjects regularly had work-related complaints, such as neck and back pain (NBP) (18.5%) or hand and wrist cumulative trauma disorder (HWD) (5.3%). Roughly 80% of the sonographers were currently affected, or had been affected in the past, by one or more work-related symptoms. Various work-related factors appeared to be related to musculoskeletal syndromes. The average time spent for each examination was related both to NBP and HWD. Discomfort for transducer design was the best predictor of HWD, whereas a comfortable chair and correct position of the body protected from the onset of NBP. These results support the role of ergonomic factors in the pathogenesis of both NBP and HWD in sonographers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)981-988
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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