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Environ Health Prev Med. 2003 Mar;8(1):23-8. doi: 10.1007/BF02897940.

Musculoskeletal disorders among staff in South Korea's largest nursing home.

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Department of Health Sciences Faculty of Medicine, University of Yamanashi, Tamaho, 409-3898, Yamanashi, Japan,



Although musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) represent a significant occupational issue for most nursing home staff, few epidemiological studies have been conducted in Korea.


We investigated the prevalence of, and risk factors for, MSD within South Korea's largest nursing home using a previously validated, self-reporting questionnaire.


From a total of 130 registered employees, 91 (70.0%) successfully completed questionnaires were obtained. The majority were female (80.2%, n=73), with an age range of 27 to 62 years and an average age of 47.0 years (SD 8.0). MSD occurred in varying amounts and was classified into distinct categories depending on body site. The most commonly affected region was the shoulder (reported by 35.2%), followed by the arm (22.0%), knee (20.9%) and lower back (19.8%). Three statistically significant risk factors were consistently identified among all 4 MSD sites: manually handling patients (OR 5.1 to 20.8), changing a patient's clothes (OR 6.7 to 30.1) and working as a nursing aide (OR 3.7 to 74.3).


Overall, the present results suggest that employment within a South Korean nursing home incurs certain hazards depending on job description and daily work tasks. The MSD prevalence differed from other occupations within South Korea and previous nursing home studies.


Korea; low back pain; musculoskeletal disorders; nursing home; self-reported

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