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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Musculoskeletal disorders and demanding work among home care workers

Jeanne Geiger-Brown, PhD RN1, Carles Muntaner, MD, PhD2, Jane Lipscomb, PhD, RN3, and Alison Trinkoff, ScD RN1. (1) Work & Health Research Center, University of Maryland School of Nursing, 655 W Lombard St, Baltimore, MD 21201, 410-706-5368, jgeiger@son.umaryland.edu, (2) Center for Addiction and Mental Health, University of Toronto, 250 College St Suite 618, Toronto, ON M5T 1R8, Canada, (3) School of Nursing, University of Maryland, 515 West Lombard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are common among health care workers, and have been associated with both physical and psychosocial demands of work. Home care workers often work without safe patient lifting devices and ergonomically adapted equipment such as adjustable beds. They also work in spaces that are cramped and require awkward postures to deliver care. In a two-wave CATI survey of home care workers (N=1663) (English/Spanish) the prevalence of MSDs of the neck, shoulder and back were assessed. Back MSDs were the most prevalent (14.5%), with neck (10.7%) and shoulder (9.5%) MSDs less common. Often workers had multiple MSDs; with high levels of distress from combinations of these symptoms. Physical demands of work were assessed using items developed from focus groups of workers. When compared to asymptomatic worker, those with MSDs showed a dose effect for physical job demands after controlling for emotional demands, abuse, violence, and social support on the job.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

Keywords: Home Care, Occupational Injury and Death

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

Occupational Epidemiology: When Work Makes You Sick

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA