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Do Technical Aids for Patient Handling Prevent Musculoskeletal Complaints in Health Care Workers?—A Systematic Review of Intervention Studies

1
Institute and Policlinic of Occupational and Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Technische Universität Dresden, Fetscherstr. 74, 01307 Dresden, Germany
2
Institute for Health Service Research in Dermatology and Nursing, University Clinics Hamburg Eppendorf, Martinistr. 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany
3
Department of Occupational Health Research, German Social Accident Insurance Institution for the Health and Welfare Service, Pappelallee 33-37, 22089 Hamburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030476
Received: 20 January 2018 / Revised: 28 February 2018 / Accepted: 5 March 2018 / Published: 9 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Occupational Safety and Health)
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Abstract

The physical load ensuing from the repositioning and moving of patients puts health care workers at risk of musculoskeletal complaints. Technical equipment developed to aid with patient handling should reduce physical strain and workload; however, the efficacy of these aids in preventing musculoskeletal disorders and complaints is still unclear. A systematic review of controlled intervention studies was conducted to examine if the risk of musculoskeletal complaints and disorders is reduced by technical patient handling equipment. MEDLINE®/PubMed®, EMBASE®, Allied and Complementary Medicine Database (AMED), and Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL®) were searched using terms for nursing, caregiving, technical aids, musculoskeletal injuries, and complaints. Randomized controlled trials and controlled before-after studies of interventions including technical patient handling equipment were included. The titles and abstracts of 9554 publications and 97 full-texts were screened by two reviewers. The qualitative synthesis included one randomized controlled trial (RCT) and ten controlled before-after studies. A meta-analysis of four studies resulted in a pooled risk ratio for musculoskeletal injury claims (post-intervention) of 0.78 (95% confidence interval 0.68–0.90). Overall, the methodological quality of the studies was poor and the results often based on administrative injury claim data, introducing potential selection bias. Interventions with technical patient handling aids appear to prevent musculoskeletal complaints, but the certainty of the evidence according to GRADE approach ranged from low to very low. View Full-Text
Keywords: moving and lifting patients; musculoskeletal diseases; low back pain (LBP); occupational medicine; equipment and supplies; hospital; ergonomics; systematic review moving and lifting patients; musculoskeletal diseases; low back pain (LBP); occupational medicine; equipment and supplies; hospital; ergonomics; systematic review
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Hegewald, J.; Berge, W.; Heinrich, P.; Staudte, R.; Freiberg, A.; Scharfe, J.; Girbig, M.; Nienhaus, A.; Seidler, A. Do Technical Aids for Patient Handling Prevent Musculoskeletal Complaints in Health Care Workers?—A Systematic Review of Intervention Studies. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 476.

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