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BMC Public Health. 2014 Nov 24;14:1211. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-1211.

Assessing the effects of an educational program for the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders among school teachers.

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Injury Prevention Research Center, Medical College of Shantou University, 22 Xin Ling Road, Shantou 515041, China.



Musculoskeletal disorders represent one of the most common and most costly occupational health problems in both developed and developing countries. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of occupational health education and ergonomic training on awareness, attitude and behavior of work-related musculoskeletal disorders among teachers.


A self-controlled longitudinal study with pre/post design was used to evaluate the effects of intervention among school teachers from the 21st of June, 2010 to the 21st of August, 2011. Choosing a cluster random sampling method, 350 (70.0% response rate (350/500)) teachers from four schools were assigned to receive eight weeks of intervention (participatory ergonomic training and occupational health education). Evaluations focused on teachers who participated in both pre- and post-questionnaires. Two post-tests were then administered to the participants to identify changes at six and 12 months after intervention.


The follow-up rate was 93.7% (328/350) at six months after intervention, and 90.9% (319/350) at 12 months after intervention. After the intervention, the awareness rate, attitude and health behavior improved. The self-reported prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders for neck, shoulder, upper and lower back pain, or discomfort were lower than before intervention (P < 0.05).


Interventions based on occupational health education lectures, on-site ergonomics training, publicity brochures and posters showed a positive effect on prevention and control of the occurrence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders in teachers. Improvement in awareness, behavior and attitude changes, and prevalence were found at both six and 12 months post-intervention, confirming that the effectiveness of the program can be sustained.

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