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J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2010;23(4):165-74. doi: 10.3233/BMR-2010-0265.

Musculoskeletal disorder prevalence and risk factors in ambulance officers.

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University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia.


This review explores the prevalence and determinants of musculoskeletal disorders in ambulance officers, and the limitations of the current epidemiological evidence to inform the development of interventions. Relevant studies were selected using defined word search terms and inclusion criteria. Existing research shows a high annual prevalence of back, neck and shoulder musculoskeletal disorders in ambulance officers and emergency medical technicians, whilst limited research has demonstrated significant associations between individual, physical and psychosocial demands, and musculoskeletal disorders of the low-back and neck-shoulder area. However, methodological issues will need to be addressed in future epidemiological research in order to inform the development of industry specific risk assessment tools that will assist in identifying the complex array of interactive risk factors involved in ambulance work. The accurate identification of risk factors will in turn, better inform the establishment of multifaceted interventions to reduce the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders in ambulance officers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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