Oral Communication

Musculoskeletal disorders of the upper limbs : A scourge among nursing staff

Dr Amira OMRANEa, Dr Salma KAMMOUNb, Dr Lamia BOUZGARROUb, Dr Iness RASSASb, Dr Irtyah ALLAGUIb, Dr Awatef KRAIEMb, Prof Mohamed Adnène HENCHIb, Prof Charefeddine AMRIb, Prof Mohamed AKROUTb, Prof Neila CHAARIb

a Laboratoire de Médecine de Travail & d’Ergonomie – Faculté de Médecine de Monastir-Université de Monastir, b Département de Médecine du Travail et d’Ergonomie- Faculté de Médecine de Monastir-Université de Monastir

Aims. To assess the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders of the upper limb (MSD-UL) among healthcare staff, to identify socio-occupational factors risk. And their impact on the work capacity.

Methods. Cross-sectional study, conducted with a representative sample stratified according to age, gender and service ensuring the nursing function in one of two university hospitals in central Tunisia. Data of the survey concerned socio-professional characteristics, the index of work capacity (WAI ) and integrates Nordic questionnaire MSD . The survey was completed by twelve manoeuvers of SALTSA, the protocol of early clinical MSD -UL screening .

Results. The sample included 300, but only 239 forms were useable. The average age was 42.64 years ± 11.65 years, with a slight predominance of older workers over 45 years (53.9%) and the sex ratio was 1.06. Obesity involved more than 1/5 of the nurses (BMI> 30) and more than half (51.9%) did not practice any regular physical activity. Work capacity was considered "good" or "excellent" for 3/4 of caregivers. During the previous 12 months of investigation MSD of the shoulders were the most reported with a prevalence of 62.12% versus 43.34% MSD of the neck, 21.84% oft the elbow and 43.68% of the hands. MSD of the neck and shoulder were statistically correlated to the female gender, age> 45 years. The protocol Saltsa objectified painful movements of the shoulders in 62 nurses, epicondylitis and tendinitis of the wrist in 67.92% and carpal tunnel syndrome in 25 nurses. The average distance thumb-C7 as equal to 16.42 ± 5.91cm and its increase was correlated with professional seniority. Moreover, the presence of some MSD significantly alter the working capacity, particularly MSD neck ((p <10-3), the right shoulder (p = 0.03), the left elbow (p = 0, 03) and the right wrist (p = 0.01 ).

Conclusion. MSD-UL are pathologies, which can be associated with heavy individual handicap and serious consequences for society, imposing multidisciplinary preventive strategy and management.

Keywords : Musculoskeletal disorders, Work ability, risk factors, nursing staff