An ergonomic approach to reducing back/shoulder stress in hospital nursing personnel: a five year follow up.

Owen BD

Int J Nurs Stud, 2002 Mar; Vol. 39 (3), pp. 295-302

The purpose of the study was to determine the impact of an ergonomic program on perceived stress ratings, injury rates and patient care. After implementation of the ergonomic program, the perceived stress ratings by nursing staff were lower than those ratings at the control hospital and the patients felt more comfortable and secure during patient handling tasks than the patients at the control hospital. Eighteen months after ergonomic interventions, the back and shoulder injuries were reduced, and the lost workdays and restricted/transitional days were decreased. Five years after the implementation, the back and shoulder injuries continued to decrease as well as the lost workdays and restricted days. At the control hospital, the back and shoulder injury rates, the lost workdays, and the restricted days remained stable throughout the study period.

Anne Hudson is the founder of WING-USA. Please contact Anne at with any questions or suggestions you might have, and contact Marian Liggera, site administrator, with any technical questions or comments. For additional articles you would like to see included here, please email complete reference info to Marian at: or Anne at: