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Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 64; doi:10.3390/healthcare4030064

Early Workplace Intervention to Improve the Work Ability of Employees with Musculoskeletal Disorders in a German University Hospital—Results of a Pilot Study

1
Department for Rehabilitation Medicine, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1, Hannover 30625, Germany
2
Company Physician, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1, Hannover 30625, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Peter A. Leggat and Derek R. Smith
Received: 31 March 2016 / Revised: 23 August 2016 / Accepted: 25 August 2016 / Published: 7 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health Issues in the New Millennium)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [964 KB, uploaded 12 September 2016]   |  

Abstract

Health promotion is becoming increasingly important in work life. Healthcare workers seem to be at special risk, experiencing musculoskeletal disorders (MSD); their situation is strongly influenced by demographic changes. The aim of this study is to evaluate the feasibility and outcome of a worksite intervention. In a one-group pretest-posttest design, 118 employees of a hospital were recruited from 2010 to 2011. The raised parameters were satisfaction with the program, work ability (Work Ability Index), and sickness absence (provided by human resource management). Patient-reported questionnaire data was raised at baseline (t1) and after three months (t2). Sickness leave was evaluated in the period six months prior to and six months after the intervention. Means, frequencies, standardized effect sizes (SES), analysis of variance, and regression analysis were carried out. Participants were found to be highly satisfied. Work ability increased with moderate effects (SES = 0.34; p < 0.001) and prognosis of gainful employment (SES = −0.19; p ≤ 0.047) with small effects. Days of MSD-related sickness absence were reduced by 38.5% after six months. The worksite intervention program is transferable to a hospital setting and integration in occupational health management is recommended. The use of a control group is necessary to demonstrate the effectiveness. View Full-Text
Keywords: work ability; musculoskeletal disorders; occupational health; worksite rehabilitation and prevention; sickness absence work ability; musculoskeletal disorders; occupational health; worksite rehabilitation and prevention; sickness absence
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Schwarze, M.; Egen, C.; Gutenbrunner, C.; Schriek, S. Early Workplace Intervention to Improve the Work Ability of Employees with Musculoskeletal Disorders in a German University Hospital—Results of a Pilot Study. Healthcare 2016, 4, 64.

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