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Implementation of a resident handling programme and low back pain in elder care workers
  1. Andreas Holtermann
  1. Correspondence to Dr Andreas Holtermann, National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Lersø Parkalle 105, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark; aho{at}nrcwe.dk

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Low back pain (LBP) is the most important contributor to number of years lived with a disability1 and a major risk factor for sickness absence and work disability.2 Occupational groups with physically demanding work, like healthcare workers, have particularly high prevalence of LBP,3 and a considerable fraction of the LBP is considered to be caused by work-related factors.4 Moreover, LBP is a particular barrier for sustainable employment among workers with physically demanding work.5 Therefore, implementation of equipment (mechanical lifts or other assistive devices) for reducing the mechanical loading of healthcare workers during manual handling of residents should theoretically be efficient for preventing LBP and sickness absence among those with LBP.3 However, interventions implementing equipment for reducing the mechanical loading on healthcare workers during manual handling of residents show conflicting results on LBP.6 This might be due to the relatively short follow-up period of previous intervention studies introducing equipment for manual handling, which may need longer time before being fully implemented in an organisation. Moreover, it can be caused by lacking repetitive measures of both the implementation of the intervention as well as the often fluctuating level of LBP. Thus, there is a research gap in the documentation of the effects on LBP …

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