Nkhata et al., 2016 Review on Effects of Ergonomic Interventions for Nurses on Function, Neuro-Muscular Pain and Quality of Life

  • Admin Administrator
Keywords: Nurses, Injury, Musculoskeletal disorder, Ergonomics, Interventions, Pain, Function


Background: Musculoskeletal disorders gain importance in the field of nursing because activities done by nurses routinely contribute to their occurrence because they are repetitive and labour intensive. To provide empirical evidence on ergonomic interventions in the field of nursing, this study assessed the effects of ergonomic interventions in nurses on function, neuro-muscular pain and quality of life.

Methods: The standard practices for systematic reviews guidelines were used in defining participants, interventions, comparisons, outcomes and study designs. The MEDLINE search strategy combined with the Cochrane Highly Sensitive Search Strategy for identifying RCTs was used to systematically search for articles published in English between 1990 and 2016. Studies where participants were nurses at the time of the intervention, and had symptoms or were exposed to risk factors for WRMDs in their workplace were considered for this review. Analysis of data were done using Review Manager 5.2 software and risk of bias was graded using sequence generation, allocation concealment, blinding of participants and personnel, blinding of outcome assessment, incomplete outcome data, selective outcome reporting and reliability of instruments. Risk ratios for dichotomous outcomes, means and standard deviations for continuous outcomes with 95% confidence intervals were used for outcome measurements.

Results: Following implementation of ergonomic interventions, most studies reported 18% – 72% decrease in musculoskeletal injury incidence with adjusted RR between 0.39 – 0.82. In addition, there was a 27% - 80% substantial reduction in the prevalence of pain symptoms in any anatomical parts. However, a lack of clinical trials in this review highlight limited evidence for numerous aspects on the effects of ergonomic interventions for nurses on function, pain and quality of life.