Purpose To investigate whether rare use of assistive devices during patient handling increases the respective risk for infrequent and frequent low back pain (LBP) among female healthcare workers reporting to be free of LBP at baseline. Method Female healthcare workers replied to questionnaires about use of assistive devices during patient handling activities (rarely, occasionally and often) and LBP in both 2005 and 2006. Among those reporting to be free of LBP (0 days the past 12 months) in 2005 (n = 1,478), the multi-adjusted odds ratio for developing infrequent LBP (1-30 days the past 12 months) and frequent LBP (>30 days the past 12 months) in 2006 depending on use of assistive devices was prospectively investigated. Results The multi-adjusted odds ratio for developing infrequent LBP was 1.21 (95 % CI 0.90-1.62) for those occasionally using assistive devices, and 1.78 (95 % CI 1.19-2.66) for those rarely using assistive devices, referencing healthcare workers often using assistive devices during patient handling (p < 0.01 for trend). No associations between use of assistive devices during patient handling and risk of frequent LBP were found. Conclusion The study indicates that rare use of assistive devices can increase the risk for developing infrequent LBP in female healthcare workers reporting to be free from LBP at baseline.

Ergonomic device, Musculoskeletal disorder, Physical work demands
dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00420-014-0963-4, hdl.handle.net/1765/64839
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Holtermann, A, Clausen, T, Jørgensen, M.B, Aust, G, Mortensen, O.S, Burdorf, A, … Andersen, L.L. (2014). Does rare use of assistive devices during patient handling increase the risk of low back pain? A prospective cohort study among female healthcare workers. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health. doi:10.1007/s00420-014-0963-4