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J Occup Environ Med. 2013 Dec;55(12):1449-55. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182a7e65a.

Results of a pilot intervention to improve health and safety for health care workers.

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From the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health (Dr Caspi), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn; Department of Physical Therapy (Dr Dennerlein), Northeastern University, Boston, Mass; New England Research Institutes (Mr Kenwood and Dr Stoddard), Watertown, Mass; College of Nursing (Dr Hopcia), University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Ill; Department of Occupational Heath (Dr Hashimoto), Partner's HealthCare, Inc, Boston, Mass; Department of Society, Human Development and Health (Dr Sorensen), Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Mass; and Center for Community-Based Research (Dr Sorensen), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Mass.



To test the feasibility of a multicomponent pilot intervention to improve worker safety and wellness in two Boston hospitals.


A 3-month intervention was conducted on seven hospital units. Pre- (374 workers) and postsurveys (303 workers) assessed changes in safety/ergonomic behaviors and practices, and social support. Wellness outcomes included self-reported pain/aching in specific body areas (musculoskeletal disorders or MSDs) and physical activity (PA).


Pain was reported frequently (81%), and PA averaged 4 hours per week. There was a postintervention increase in safe patient handling (P < 0.0001), safety practices (P = 0.0004), ergonomics (P = 0.009), and supervisor support (P = 0.01), but no changes in MSDs or PA.


Safe patient handling, ergonomics, and safety practices are good targets for worker safety and wellness interventions; longer intervention periods may reduce the risk of MSDs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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