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Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders in Female Nursing Personnel: Prevalence and Impact

Introduction: There is substantial evidence showing that work related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs) have become a common occupational health problem in nursing population. Objectives: This study aims to investigate the prevalence and impact of WRMSDs among nurses in public hospitals in the Klang Valley. The study also evaluated the reliability of the Malay version of the Standardized Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (M-SNMQ). Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 660 female nurses working in four selected public hospitals in the Klang Valley, Malaysia. The validated M-SNMQ was used to estimate the prevalence and impact of WRMSDs. The socio-demographic and occupational information were also obtained from the nurses. Results: A total of 77.4% response rate was achieved with 376 nurses completing the survey. Of these, 88.6% (n=333) and 73.1% (n=275) experienced symptoms of WRMSDs in their lifetime and for the past 12 month respectively. Neck (48.9%) was the most prevalent site followed by feet (47.2%), upper back (40.7%) and shoulders (36.9%) and of those, the majority sustained at least moderate pain. Less than 25% of the nurses agreed that WRMSDs affected their quality of life. The result if Kappa agreement indicates a good level of test –retest reliability of M-SNMQ. Hence, proven that the M-SNMQ is a reliable instrument to assess the presence of WRMSDs among female nurses in Malaysia. Conclusions: These findings suggests that WRMSDs is relatively high among the studied Malaysian nurses. Further study should be undertaken to identify the potential risk factors to reduce the prevalence in the near future.


Nur Azma BA, Rusli BN, RM Noah, Oxley, JA, Quek KF

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