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J Occup Environ Med. 2005 Jun;47(6):633-9.

Work environment of dental hygienists.

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Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, University of California at Los Angeles, 90024, USA.



We sought to evaluate how musculoskeletal disorders and workplace psychosocial factors affect dental hygienists' work hours and productivity.


We mailed a survey to dental hygienists in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, California.


Musculoskeletal pain caused 27% of hygienists to decrease work hours and 8.7% to change office locations. Hand/wrist pain caused the most missed workdays. Conversely, conflicts with the dentist caused 28.2% of dental hygienists to change jobs and 12.7% to decrease work hours. Conflicts with staff caused 17.1% to change office locations but only 7.0% to decrease work hours. This pattern was confirmed with multiple logistic regression analyses.


Musculoskeletal and psychosocial factors affect dental hygienists differently: musculoskeletal discomfort is more likely to cause dental hygienists to decrease their working hours, whereas professional and social conflicts are more likely to lead to change in work location.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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