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Work- and stress-related musculoskeletal and sleep disorders among health professionals: a cross-sectional study in a hospital setting in Switzerland


Hämmig, Oliver (2020). Work- and stress-related musculoskeletal and sleep disorders among health professionals: a cross-sectional study in a hospital setting in Switzerland. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 21(1):319.

Abstract

Background: Musculoskeletal and sleep disorders have been reported to be very common among health care and hospital workers and particularly nurses. They are assumed or found to be a result of psychological stress and/or physical strain or pain. However, no other study so far - at least in a hospital setting and for Switzerland - has considered and investigated musculoskeletal as well as sleep disorders in consequence of or rather in association with both physical workload and psychological stress.
Methods: Cross-sectional survey data of 1232 health professionals were used and analysed. Data were collected in 2015/16 among the health care workforces of three public hospitals and two rehabilitation clinics in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Musculoskeletal and sleep disorders were assessed by three items taken from the Swiss Health Survey, a 2-item measure of accumulated low back, back, neck and shoulder pain and a single-item measure of problems in getting to sleep or sleeping through. Stratified and adjusted bivariate logistic and multivariate linear regression analyses were performed to calculate measures of association (adjusted odds ratios, z-standardized beta coefficients), to control for potential confounders, and to compare different health professions (nurses, physicians, therapists, other).
Results: Almost every fourth of the studied health professionals reported severe or even very severe musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and nearly every seventh severe sleep disorders (SDs). These prevalence rates were significantly or at least slightly higher among nurses than among physicians and other health care workers. General stress, work stress, physical effort at work, and particularly a painful or tiring posture at work were found to be clear and strong risk factors for MSDs, whereas only general and work-related stress were found to be significantly associated with SDs. There was no or only weak association between MSDs and SDs.
Conclusions: This study found MSDs to be largely a result of physical workload or rather poor posture at work and only secondarily a consequence of (general) stress, whereas SDs were revealed to be primarily a consequence of stress on and particularly off the job. Preventive strategies therefore have to differentiate and combine measures for the reduction of both psychological stress and physical strain.

Abstract

Background: Musculoskeletal and sleep disorders have been reported to be very common among health care and hospital workers and particularly nurses. They are assumed or found to be a result of psychological stress and/or physical strain or pain. However, no other study so far - at least in a hospital setting and for Switzerland - has considered and investigated musculoskeletal as well as sleep disorders in consequence of or rather in association with both physical workload and psychological stress.
Methods: Cross-sectional survey data of 1232 health professionals were used and analysed. Data were collected in 2015/16 among the health care workforces of three public hospitals and two rehabilitation clinics in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Musculoskeletal and sleep disorders were assessed by three items taken from the Swiss Health Survey, a 2-item measure of accumulated low back, back, neck and shoulder pain and a single-item measure of problems in getting to sleep or sleeping through. Stratified and adjusted bivariate logistic and multivariate linear regression analyses were performed to calculate measures of association (adjusted odds ratios, z-standardized beta coefficients), to control for potential confounders, and to compare different health professions (nurses, physicians, therapists, other).
Results: Almost every fourth of the studied health professionals reported severe or even very severe musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and nearly every seventh severe sleep disorders (SDs). These prevalence rates were significantly or at least slightly higher among nurses than among physicians and other health care workers. General stress, work stress, physical effort at work, and particularly a painful or tiring posture at work were found to be clear and strong risk factors for MSDs, whereas only general and work-related stress were found to be significantly associated with SDs. There was no or only weak association between MSDs and SDs.
Conclusions: This study found MSDs to be largely a result of physical workload or rather poor posture at work and only secondarily a consequence of (general) stress, whereas SDs were revealed to be primarily a consequence of stress on and particularly off the job. Preventive strategies therefore have to differentiate and combine measures for the reduction of both psychological stress and physical strain.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Rheumatology
Health Sciences > Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords:Rheumatology, Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
Language:English
Date:1 December 2020
Deposited On:09 Feb 2021 16:25
Last Modified:06 Mar 2021 04:40
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1471-2474
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12891-020-03327-w

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