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

Work environment of dental hygienists.

Author information

1
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.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

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

METHODS:

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

RESULTS:

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.

CONCLUSIONS:

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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