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Am J Ind Med. 2003 Dec;44(6):679-84.

Psychosocial risk factors for musculoskeletal symptoms among women working in geriatric care.

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Department of Research and Occupational Health, Administration of Occupational Health, Iceland.



Nursing is a stressful, physically demanding occupation and a rush setting for musculoskeletal problems. The aim of this study is to explore the extent of the association between psychosocial work characteristics and musculoskeletal symptoms among women working in geriatric care.


The participants were female employees of all geriatric nursing homes and geriatric hospital wards in Iceland having a staff of 10 or more. A total of 1,886 questionnaires were distributed. The response rate was 80%.


Finding the job mentally difficult, mental exhaustion after one's shift, dissatisfaction with supervisors or the flow of information, insufficient influence at work, dissatisfaction with the hierarchy, intense time pressure, lack of solidarity, dissatisfaction with the job, harassment, violence or threats at work; all of the aforementioned gave crude odds ratios (OR) two or above for one or more musculoskeletal symptoms. Mental exhaustion and harassment, violence, and threats were the factors connected with symptoms from all the body regions studied.


The extent of the association of work-related psychosocial factors and musculoskeletal symptoms among the geriatric female nursing staff is substantial and needs to be taken into account by occupational health services and others involved in preventive work. Am. J. Ind. Med. 44:679-684, 2003.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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