The frequency of musculoskeletal disorders of registered nurses who work in the hospitals of Chania and Heraklion in Crete

Background: A lot of health care personnel face serious problems due to skeletal muscle injuries. Skeletal muscle injuries are the main cause of burnout among nurses in Europe, United States and Canada. Aim: The aim of the study was to record the prevalence of skeletal muscle injuries among nurses, to find the factors that increase the risk of such injuries and to record health care personnel’s knowledge in regard to the right body position during work hours. Method: A Dutch questionnaire that is available in the web was used in order to perform the cross-sectional survey. The sample of the study consisted of nurses who were working in the three major hospitals of the island of Crete. The sample consisted of 28 nurses of university education, 300 nurses of technological education and 200 nursing assistants. The study lasted from February 2012 to March 2012. Results: The majority of the participants were nurses who were working on shift and their mean time period of work was 12.2±7.7 years. The prevalence of pain was higher in the neck (63.2%), as well as in the lumbar area (57.9%).Most of the nurses were performing the same tasks and there was a statistically significant correlation between nursing tasks and suffering from skeletal muscle injuries (p<0.001). Pain in the neck was correlated statistically significant with the age, the gender, the family status, as well as the shifts and the years of being a nurse (p<0.05). On the other hand, neither demographic variable, nor factors regarding to the occupation was found to be a statistically significant correlation to the pain in the lumbar area. Conclusions: Neck and lumbar are the anatomic sites that it seems to be distressed mostly in nurses’ bodies. Pain in the neck seems to correlate to the age, the gender, the family status, as well as the shifts and the years of being a nurse. Performing nursing tasks with wrong body position may occur in the increase of the pain in the neck and in the lumbar area.