Oman Med J. 2023 Jul 31;38(4):e531. doi: 10.5001/omj.2023.93. eCollection 2023 Jul.
OBJECTIVES: To detect the level of ergonomic awareness related to work-related musculoskeletal disorders among 200 staff nurses in a tertiary hospital. The additional objective was to study the relationship of such awareness with the prevalence of these disorders.
METHODS: A group of 25-45-year-old staff nurses and a body mass index of ≤ 30 kg/m2, with at least one year working experience were randomly selected from different wards of the Royal Hospital, Muscat. The study excluded nurses who were on leave and those who had sustained traffic accidents or sports injuries in the preceding year. Cornell Musculoskeletal Discomfort Questionnaire (CMDQ) was used to measure the work-related musculoskeletal disorders experienced by the nurses. A second questionnaire was administered to measure their ergonomic awareness. The data was statistically analyzed. Correlations were established by Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient (ρ).
RESULTS: The participants were 200 staff nurses (male = 30 male, female = 170). Analysis of the ergonomics awareness construct indicated ‘agreement’ as an overall response with a mean of 3.2±0.6, indicating fair ergonomic awareness. For CMDQ, 50.3% reported discomfort in the low back region, 15.0% in the neck, and 6.9% in the right lower leg. The left wrist, left forearm, and right upper arm had the least reported discomfort (< 1.0%). The correlation between ergonomic awareness and working ability was weakly positive, yet statistically significant (ρ = 0.210; p = 0.003). Correlations were not statistically significant between ergonomic awareness and discomfort (ρ = -0.031; p = 0.664) and between ergonomic awareness and total frequency (ρ = 0.109; p = 0.123).
CONCLUSIONS: There is a strong need to develop practical ergonomic awareness among nursing staff for a sustainable and safe work environment.