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Risk Factors for Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders among Nurses in Kakamega County Kenya

DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1108564, PP. 1-14

Subject Areas: Public Health, Global Health

Keywords: Risk Factors, Prevalence, Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders, Nurses, Injuries, Occupational Health, Kakamega County, Kenya

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Work related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs) are injuries affecting the connective tissues of the body. They are leading causes of occupational injury and disability in the world. In Kenya, nurses are exposed to work-related musculoskeletal disorders because of long hours of static work with awkward postures, heavy load lifting and repetitive movement. The objective of the study was to investigate the risk factors for work-related musculoskeletal disorders among nurses in Kakamega county. The study was a descriptive cross-sectional study and quantitative methods were adopted. The study was carried out in hospitals in Kakamega county Kenya. A self-administered questionnaire was used to gather information from randomly selected nurses (n = 130). Data was presented using descriptive statistics in the form of frequencies and percentages for categorical variables and means and standard deviations for quantitative variables. Chi-square test of independence analysis was used for the assessment of quantitative variable interrelationships between Sociodemographic data and risk factors for work-related musculo-skeletal disorders. Significance was considered at p ≤ 0.05. Majority of nurses were female (76.9%). The average age of the nurses was 35 years and standard deviation of 8.076 (35 ± 8.07). Majority of the nurses were above forty years old (40%) and had a time of employment of between one to five years (49%). Findings showed that only 3.1% of the nurses had no problem when performing the same task over and over, 76.9% had major problems when attending to high number of patients and performing manual orthopedic technique. In addition, 81.5% had major problem when they did not have a pause or break. On poor and cramped positions, 1.5% of the nurses in the study had no problem when working in awkward and cramped position. Regarding work schedule, only 26.9% of the nurses had minimal or moderate problems when work schedule (overtime, irregular shifts and length of workday) was extended. There was significant association between not having enough breaks or pauses during working hours and the WRMSD among the study participants. There was significant association between working in awkward and cramped position and the WRMSD among the study participants. There was significant association between working while injured or hurt and the WRMSD among the study participants (p < 0.05). On working while injured or hurt, 6.2% of nurses had no problem when continuing to work while injured or hurt. The study concludes that working in the same positions for long periods, treating a high number of patients and carrying or transferring dependent patients were risk factors of WRMSD identified. The study recommends change on their working technique, using lifting equipment, interchange task regularly, to reduce the excessive number of patients treated in one day, take breaks, and avoid awkward cramp position, repetitive work and strenuous tasks.

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Olutende, M. , Kweyui, I. W. , Wanzala, M. and Mse, E. (2022). Risk Factors for Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders among Nurses in Kakamega County Kenya. Open Access Library Journal, 9, e8564. doi:


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