Musculoskeletal Disorders among Medical Technologists in a Tertiary Hospital | Abstract
Journal of Ergonomics

Journal of Ergonomics
Open Access

ISSN: 2165-7556


Musculoskeletal Disorders among Medical Technologists in a Tertiary Hospital

Shi Zhe Gabriel Chia, Melvin Seng Yi Feng, Gan Wee Hoe

Background: Healthcare workers (HCWs) are reported to have increased risk of Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs). Aims: To evaluate the prevalence and risk factors associated with MSDs among medical technologists working in specialized diagnostic laboratories at a tertiary hospital in Singapore. Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was administered to all medical technologists working in specialized vascular and neurological diagnostic laboratories. This study used the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ) and the Work Ability Index to assess for symptoms of MSDs and work ability respectively. Workplace assessments were also performed to correlate with questionnaire findings. Results: 95.5% of all medical technologists experienced MSDs over at least one body region in the past 12 months. The shoulders were the most commonly affected (86.4%), followed by the neck (72.7%) and lower back (63.6%). Having MSDs that prevented normal activities was associated with lower work ability. The mean work ability index score among medical technologists with MSDs preventing normal activities was 39.6, which was lower than the score of 43.2 among those without MSDs affecting normal activities (p=0.020). A higher proportion of medical technologists performing neurodiagnostic investigations had MSDs over the knees and ankles compared to those performing vascular ultrasonographic studies. Awkward posture was the predominant ergonomic risk factor, especially when performing electroencephalography and venous scans which had RULA scores of 7 each. Conclusion: The high prevalence of MSDs among medical technologists is likely due to significant ergonomic risk factors observed at their workplaces. There is a need for increased awareness and an effective ergonomic program to prevent MSDs among medical technologists.

Published Date: 2020-10-26; Received Date: 2020-09-21