Neck and shoulder pain in nurses working in seven wards of Tygerberg hospital : quantifying the problem and exploring the risks

Altmann, Janet Rosemary (2011-03)

Thesis (MSc)--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Background: There is a high prevalence of musculoskeletal problems, including neck and shoulder pain (NSP) among nurses worldwide. Tygerberg hospital (TBH) is the second largest hospital in South Africa with a large complement of nurses. The prevalence of NSP and risks associated therewith have not previously been determined at TBH. It is unknown how the nurses at TBH experience NSP in their workplace. Objective: This study questioned whether the 12 month prevalence of neck pain, shoulder pain and combined NSP is similar to worldwide reports, and questioned the degree of association of NSP with lower back pain and demographic risk factors in the nursing population at TBH. Thereafter the qualitative experiences of nurses with NSP at TBH were elucidated. Methodology: A self-designed Neck and Shoulder Pain Questionnaire for nurses (NSPn) was distributed among seven wards of TBH from March to May 2009. The NSPn was compiled using the pain definition from the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire and elements of the Dutch Musculoskeletal Questionnaire. The NSPn gathered information regarding the presence of neck and shoulder pain as well as demographic and workplace risk factors. Thereafter semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight nurses working at TBH. Results: The 12 month prevalence of neck pain, shoulder pain and combined NSP was 29%, 34% and 43% respectively among a sample of 143 nurses. A high correlation of neck pain with lower back pain and of neck pain with shoulder pain was observed. No significant associations were found between age, ward module, tenure of work, and the nurses' perception of their general health and fitness with the presence of NSP. The qualitative results describe the conflict between the nurses' beliefs and their symptoms. The nurses named work-related stress as the most prevalent cause or aggravator of NSP. The main underlying cause of their stress was a shortage of nursing staff. Discussion and Conclusions: The prevalence of neck pain (29%) and shoulder pain (34%) among the surveyed TBH nurses was lower than the worldwide prevalence summary statistic of 50% and 52% respectively. However, the NSP prevalence (43%) was within the range of three international studies, suggesting that NSP is a significant concern for TBH nurses. The nurses' desire to hide pain and continue working perpetuates the problem of NSP. The underlying causes of NSP are multifactorial, with physical factors interacting with psychosocial factors. Preventative drives need to consider staffing levels and nurses' methods of coping with stress along with improvements in manual handling practices.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Agtergrond: Daar is 'n hoё voorkoms van muskulosketale probleme, insluitend nek en skouer pyn (NSP), by verpleegkundiges wêreldwyd. Tygerberg Hospitaal (TBH) is die tweede grootste hospitaal in Suid-Afrika met 'n groot aantal verpleegkundiges. Die voorkoms van NSP en risiko's verbonde daaraan, is nog nie voorheen by TBH vasgestel nie. Dit is nie bekend hoe die verpleegkundiges by TBH NSP in hulle werksomgewing ervaar nie. Objektief: Hierdie studie ondersoek of die 12 maand teenwoordigheid van nekpyn, skouerpyn en gekombineerde NSP ooreenstem met wêreldwye aanmelding, en ondersoek die assosiasie van NSP met lae rugpyn en demografiese risiko faktore in die verpleegkunde populasie by TBH. Daarna is die kwalitatiewe ondervindings van die verpleegkundiges met NSP by TBH toegelig. Metodologie: Die self-ontwerpde "Nek en Skouer pyn in verpleegsters‟(NSPn) vraelys, is onder sewe sale vanaf Maart tot Mei 2009 versprei. Die NSPn het die die Nordiese muskuloskeletale pyn definisie en elemente vanaf die "Hollandse Bewegingsapparaat Vraelys‟ ingesluit. The NSPn het inligting oor die voorkoms van nek en skouer pyn, sowel as demografiese en werkplek faktore ingesamel. Daarna is semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude gevoer met agt verpleegkundiges wat by TBH werksaam is. Resultate: Die 12 maand voorkoms van nekpyn, skouerpyn en gekombineerde NSP was 29%, 34% en 43% onderskeidelik in die steekproef van 143 verpleegkundiges. 'n Beduidende korrelasie van nekpyn met lae rugpyn en nekpyn met skouerpyn is waargeneem. Geen betekenisvolle ooreenkomste is gevind tussen ouderdom, saal module, termyn van werk en die verpleegkundiges se persepsie van hulle algemene gesondheid en fiksheid, met die teenwoordigheid van NSP nie. Die kwalitatiewe resultate beskryf die konflik tussen die verpleegkundiges se oortuigings en hulle simptome. Die verpleegkundiges noem stres as die mees algemene oorsaak of verergeraar van NSP. Die grootste onderliggende oorsaak van stres was die tekort aan verpleegpersoneel by TBH. Bespreking en Gevolgtrekkings: Die voorkoms van nekpyn (29%) en skouerpyn (34%) was laer as die wereldwye voorkoms opsommings statistiek van 50% en 52% onderskeidelik. Maar die voorkoms van NSP(43%) was binne die grense van drie internasionale studies wat dui daarop dat NSP 'n merkbare kommer vir TBH verpleegkundiges is. Die verpleegkundiges se behoefte om die pyn weg te steek en aan te hou werk, vererger die problem van NSP. Die onderliggende oorsake van NSP is veelvoudig, met fisiese faktore en psigologiese faktore wisselwerkend op mekaar. Voorkomende veldtogte moet verpleegkundiges se stres en personeeltekorte saam met verbetering in manuele hanteringstegnieke in ag neem.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/6893
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