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1.  Musculoskeletal disorders in physically active conscripts: a one-year follow-up study in the Finnish Defence Forces 
Background
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are an important cause for morbidity in military service. They result in disabilities needing long-term rehabilitation and functional impairment leading to premature discharge from military service. The purpose of the study was to investigate the incidence and nature of MSDs in Finnish conscripts.
Methods
Two successive arrivals of 18–28-yr-old male conscripts (N = 955, median age 19) were followed for six months. MSDs, including overuse and acute injuries, treated at the garrison clinic were identified and analysed.
Results
During the 12-month study period there were 437 outpatient clinic visits in 955 persons. The occurrence rate was 33% during 6-month service while the event-based incidence was 3.3 per 1000 person-days. Occurrence peaked in summer months. The most common types of MSDs were low back pain (LBP, 20%), lower limb overuse injuries (16%) and sprains or strains (13%). Disorders mostly occurred in combat training in combat gear (40%) and during marching on foot or bicycle (28%). Overuse-related MSDs were more prevalent (66%) than traumatic ones (34%). One-third (34%) of the MSDs were recurrent and 66% were new ones. Disorders of the back and the knee were most frequently recurrent conditions (44% for both). Fractures, knee ligament ruptures, dislocations and muscle strains accounted for the highest number of service days lost. Twenty-four (2.5%) out of 955 conscripts were prematurely discharged due to MSDs.
Conclusion
Preventive measures during military service should be targeted at decreasing low back pain and lower limb overuse injuries, because these inflict the largest burden of MSDs and tend to have a chronic nature.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-10-89
PMCID: PMC2724399  PMID: 19624829
2.  Prevalence and risk factors for foot and ankle musculoskeletal disorders experienced by nurses 
Background
Nurses are at high risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Although the prevalence of MSDs of the lower back, upper limbs, neck and shoulders have been reported previously in nursing, few studies have evaluated MSDs of the foot and ankle. This study evaluated the prevalence of foot and ankle MSDs in nurses and their relation to individual and workplace risk factors.
Methods
A self-administered survey incorporating the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ) was distributed, over a nine-week period, to all eligible nurses (n = 416) working in a paediatric hospital in Brisbane, Australia. The prevalence of MSDs for each of the NMQ body regions was determined. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the relationships between activity-limiting foot/ankle MSDs and risk factors related to the individual (age, body mass index, number of existing foot conditions, smoking history, general physical health [SF36 Physical Component Scale], footwear features) or the workplace (level of nursing position, work location, average hours worked, hours worked in previous week, time since last break from work).
Results
A 73% response rate was achieved with 304 nurses completing surveys, of whom 276 were females (91%). Mean age of the nurses was 37 years (±10), younger than the state average of 43 years. Foot/ankle MSDs were the most prevalent conditions experienced by nurses during the preceding seven days (43.8%, 95% CI 38.2-49.4%), the second most prevalent MSDs to impair physical activity (16.7%, 95% CI 13.0-21.3%), and the third most prevalent MSD, after lower-back and neck problems, during the preceding 12 months (55.3%, 95% CI 49.6-60.7%). Of the nurse and work characteristics investigated, obesity, poor general physical health, existing foot conditions and working in the intensive care unit emerged as statistically significant (p < 0.05) independent risk factors for activity-limiting foot/ankle MSDs.
Conclusions
Foot/ankle MSDs are common in paediatric hospital nurses and resulted in physical activity limitations in one out of every six nurses. We recommend targeted education programs regarding the prevention, self-management and treatment strategies for foot/ankle MSDs. Further research is needed into the impact of work location and extended shift durations on foot/ankle MSDs.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-15-196
PMCID: PMC4061517  PMID: 24902582
3.  Sanitation and Hygiene-Specific Risk Factors for Moderate-to-Severe Diarrhea in Young Children in the Global Enteric Multicenter Study, 2007–2011: Case-Control Study 
PLoS Medicine  2016;13(5):e1002010.
Background
Diarrheal disease is the second leading cause of disease in children less than 5 y of age. Poor water, sanitation, and hygiene conditions are the primary routes of exposure and infection. Sanitation and hygiene interventions are estimated to generate a 36% and 48% reduction in diarrheal risk in young children, respectively. Little is known about whether the number of households sharing a sanitation facility affects a child's risk of diarrhea. The objective of this study was to describe sanitation and hygiene access across the Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS) sites in Africa and South Asia and to assess sanitation and hygiene exposures, including shared sanitation access, as risk factors for moderate-to-severe diarrhea (MSD) in children less than 5 y of age.
Methods/Findings
The GEMS matched case-control study was conducted between December 1, 2007, and March 3, 2011, at seven sites in Basse, The Gambia; Nyanza Province, Kenya; Bamako, Mali; Manhiça, Mozambique; Mirzapur, Bangladesh; Kolkata, India; and Karachi, Pakistan. Data was collected for 8,592 case children aged <5 y old experiencing MSD and for 12,390 asymptomatic age, gender, and neighborhood-matched controls. An MSD case was defined as a child with a diarrheal illness <7 d duration comprising ≥3 loose stools in 24 h and ≥1 of the following: sunken eyes, skin tenting, dysentery, intravenous (IV) rehydration, or hospitalization. Site-specific conditional logistic regression models were used to explore the association between sanitation and hygiene exposures and MSD. Most households at six sites (>93%) had access to a sanitation facility, while 70% of households in rural Kenya had access to a facility. Practicing open defecation was a risk factor for MSD in children <5 y old in Kenya. Sharing sanitation facilities with 1–2 or ≥3 other households was a statistically significant risk factor for MSD in Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, and Pakistan. Among those with a designated handwashing area near the home, soap or ash were more frequently observed at control households and were significantly protective against MSD in Mozambique and India.
Conclusions
This study suggests that sharing a sanitation facility with just one to two other households can increase the risk of MSD in young children, compared to using a private facility. Interventions aimed at increasing access to private household sanitation facilities may reduce the burden of MSD in children. These findings support the current World Health Organization/ United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) system that categorizes shared sanitation as unimproved.
In a matched case-control study, Kelly Baker and colleagues explore the association between sanitation and hygiene exposures and moderate-to-severe diarrhea in young children in Africa and South Asia.
Editors' Summary
Background
Diarrhea—passing three or more loose or liquid stools per day—is a leading cause of death among children under 5 y old. Diarrhea, which can cause severe dehydration, kills about three-quarters of a million young children every year, mainly in resource-limited countries. Frequent bouts of diarrhea also cause long-term damage to the gut, malnutrition, and growth stunting. Diarrhea is a common symptom of gastrointestinal infections. The enteric pathogens (viruses, bacteria, and parasites infecting the gut) that cause diarrhea spread through contaminated food or drinking water and through poor hygiene (for example, failure to wash one’s hands after using the toilet) and inadequate sanitation (unsafe disposal of human excreta). Improvements in water, sanitation, and hygiene can reduce exposure to enteric pathogens, thereby reducing the incidence of diarrhea among young children. For example, access to an improved sanitation facility reduces the risk of diarrhea in young children by up to 36%.
Why Was This Study Done?
In 2000, world leaders agreed to reduce the proportion of the global population without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation to half of the 1990 level by 2015 as part of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 7; the MDGs were designed to eradicate extreme poverty globally. To measure progress towards MDG7, the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) currently defines an improved sanitation facility as an unshared facility that hygienically separates human excreta from human contact (for example, a flush toilet or a pit latrine). Facilities of an improved type that are shared by multiple households are classified by the JMP as unimproved because of worries that shared facilities are less hygienic and less accessible than private household facilities. However, some experts suggest that the JMP guidelines should be changed to allow facilities shared by five or fewer households to be considered as improved facilities if they meet the other criteria for separating human excreta from human contact. But does sharing a sanitation facility affect a child’s risk of diarrhea? Here, the researchers investigate this question by analyzing data collected by the Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS).
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
GEMS is a case-control study, an observational study that compares the characteristics of people with a specific disease with those of people without that disease. It collected data on 8,592 children under 5 y old with moderate-to-severe diarrhea (MSD; experiencing diarrhea at least three times in 24 h with signs of moderate-to-severe dehydration or hospitalization) and 12,390 healthy children matched for age, gender, and location at seven sites in Africa and South Asia. Most of the households (>93%) at six of the sites had access to a sanitation facility, whereas only 70% of households at the Kenyan site had access to a facility. Compared to having a private household sanitation facility, sharing a facility with three or more households significantly increased the risk of young children developing diarrhea (a significantly increased risk is unlikely to have occurred by chance) at the study sites in Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, and Pakistan. At the sites in Kenya, Mali, and Pakistan, sharing a facility with one or two households also increased MSD risk. Sharing a sanitation facility did not increase MSD risk at the sites in The Gambia, Bangladesh, or India.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that sharing a sanitation facility with one or two other households is associated with an increased risk of MSD in young children. Because this was an observational study, these findings only show an association between the use of shared sanitation facilities and MSD risk; they cannot prove that using shared facilities causes diarrhea. It could be, for example, that households who decide to invest in a private sanitation facility also prioritize safe hygiene practices. The reduced risk of diarrhea in these households might then be the result of everyone washing their hands after using the toilet rather than the result of having a private latrine. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that interventions aimed at increasing access to private household sanitation facilities might reduce the global MSD burden. Moreover, they suggest that shared sanitation facilities should continue to be classified as “unimproved” for the purposes of monitoring global access to sanitation.
Additional Information
This list of resources contains links that can be accessed when viewing the PDF on a device or via the online version of the article at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002010.
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by Jonny Crocker and Jamie Bartram
A PLOS Medicine Collection on water and sanitation is available
The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information on water, sanitation, and health (in several languages) and on diarrhea
The WHO/UNICEF JMP is the official United Nations mechanism tasked with monitoring progress toward MDG7, Target C; the JMP Update Report 2015 is available online (key facts are available in several languages through the JMP website)
The children’s charity UNICEF, which protects the rights of children and young people around the world, provides information on water, sanitation, and health and on diarrhea (in several languages)
The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council and the non-governmental organization Practical Action provide information and approaches and technologies for improving sanitation
The Sanitation and Hygiene Applied Research for Equity (SHARE) contributes to knowledge about effective, sustainable, and equitable sanitation and hygiene by supporting research to improve policy and practice worldwide.
More information about GEMS is available
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1002010
PMCID: PMC4854459  PMID: 27138888
4.  Prevalence and Risk Factors Associated with Musculoskeletal Discomfort in Spay and Neuter Veterinarians 
Simple Summary
This study examined musculoskeletal pain and discomfort in spay and neuter veterinarians using an internet-based questionnaire. Hand pain was most common in the right thumb and wrist, and body pain was most common in the lower back, shoulders, and neck. Several work-related risk factors for discomfort were discovered, including long career in spay and neuter, increasing weekly hours in surgery, and decreasing job satisfaction. Although most respondents felt posture during surgery was important, few spay and neuter veterinarians have received any instruction in posture or ergonomics in surgery.
Abstract
A cross-sectional study to investigate musculoskeletal discomfort (MSD) surveyed 219 veterinarians who currently or previously perform spays and neuters at least 4 hours per week. Participants were asked about the presence and severity of hand and body MSD during the previous month, whether MSD interfered with work or daily activities, whether they attributed their MSD to their spay/neuter work, and whether MSD had ever necessitated absence from work. The period prevalence of MSD was 99.1%, with 76.7% experiencing hand or wrist pain and 98.2% experiencing body pain. Hand discomfort was most commonly reported in the right thumb and/or thumb base (49.8%) and the right wrist (37.9%). Body discomfort was most commonly reported in the lower back (76.7%), shoulders (72.6%), and neck (71.7%). Increasing career length, increasing weekly hours in surgery and decreasing job satisfaction were the work-related factors with the greatest relative contribution accounting for variation in hand pain severity and total pain. Although 94.4% of respondents felt that posture during surgery is important, only 30.6% had received any instruction in posture and positioning for surgery. Future interventions should aim to optimize surgical efficiency, surgeon work schedules, and working environment. Analysis and intervention studies are required to determine further causes of MSD in these veterinarians and develop interventions to prevent MSD.
doi:10.3390/ani3010085
PMCID: PMC4495518  PMID: 26487311
spay; neuter; veterinarian; ergonomics; pain; MSD
5.  Assessing the exposure of street sweeping and potential risk factors for developing musculoskeletal disorders and related disabilities: a cross-sectional study 
BMJ Open  2016;6(12):e012354.
Objective
This study aims to assess the exposure of those involved in street sweeping to the development of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and related disabilities and tries to identify the individual risk factors thereof.
Design
A cross-sectional survey was conducted among street sweepers together with a comparison group. A modified Standardized Nordic Questionnaire was adopted to measure the prevalence of MSDs and related disabilities. The impact of the occupation of sweeping on the development of MSDs and related disabilities was assessed using the propensity score matching (PSM) method. A multivariate logistic regression model was employed to identify the individual risk factors.
Participants
Street sweepers (n=180) and a comparison group (n=180), working for at least a year as formal employees of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), were randomly selected from 6 municipal wards.
Results
The prevalence of the MSDs was significantly higher among the sweepers for shoulders (32%), wrists/hands (29%), elbows (27%) and neck (17%) compared with the comparison group, in which the prevalence was 11%, 19%, 9% and 11%, respectively. The disabilities too were significantly higher among the street sweepers for the lower back (27%), upper back (27%), wrists/hands (26%), shoulders (24%) and elbows (23%) compared with the comparison group, for which the figures were 18%, 19%, 13%, 9% and 6% respectively. The PSM method highlighted that the occupation of sweeping raised the risk of developing MSDs and disabilities particularly for the shoulders (17–16%), wrists/hands (14% each), elbows (13% each) and the upper back (12–13%). After adjusting the age, body mass index and the caste of the street sweepers, the number of years of engagement in street sweeping and the location of work emerged as potential risk factors in the development of MSDs and, thereby, related disabilities.
Conclusions
The study concluded that the occupation of street sweeping raises the risk of MSDs and related disabilities. This study recommends preventive and curative measures to deal with MSDs among street sweepers.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-012354
PMCID: PMC5168656  PMID: 27986735
Street sweepers
6.  Physical activity is associated with a low prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders in the Royal Norwegian Navy: a cross sectional study 
Background
Despite considerable knowledge about musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) and physical, psychosocial and individual risk factors there is limited knowledge about physical activity as a factor in preventing MSD. In addition, studies of physical activity are often limited to either leisure activity or physical activity at work. Studies among military personnel on the association between physical activity at work and at leisure and MSD are lacking. This study was conducted to find the prevalence of MSD among personnel in the Royal Norwegian Navy and to assess the association between physical activity at work and at leisure and MSD.
Methods
A questionnaire about musculoskeletal disorders, physical activity and background data (employment status, age, gender, body mass index, smoking, education and physical stressors) was completed by 2265 workers (58%) 18 to 70 years old in the Royal Norwegian Navy. Multiple logistic regression with 95% confidence intervals was used to assess the relationship between physical activity and musculoskeletal disorders.
Results
A total of 32% of the workers reported musculoskeletal disorders often or very often in one or more parts of the body in the past year. The most common musculoskeletal disorders were in the lower back (15% often or very often), shoulders (12% often or very often) and neck (11% often or very often). After adjustment for confounders, physical activity was inversely associated with musculoskeletal disorders for all body sites except elbows, knees and feet.
Conclusion
The one-year prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders among workers in the Royal Norwegian Navy was rather low. A physically active lifestyle both at work and at leisure was associated with fewer musculoskeletal disorders among personnel in the Royal Norwegian Navy. Prospective studies are necessary to confirm the cause and effect in this association.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-8-56
PMCID: PMC1929072  PMID: 17601352
7.  Low back pain and widespread pain predict sickness absence among industrial workers 
Background
The prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) in the aluminium industry is high, and there is a considerable work-related fraction. More knowledge about the predictors of sickness absence from MSD in this industry will be valuable in determining strategies for prevention. The aim of this study was to analyse the relative impact of body parts, psychosocial and individual factors as predictors for short- and long-term sickness absence from MSD among industrial workers.
Methods
A follow-up study was conducted among all the workers at eight aluminium plants in Norway. A questionnaire was completed by 5654 workers at baseline in 1998. A total of 3320 of these participated in the follow-up study in 2000. Cox regression analysis was applied to investigate the relative impact of MSD in various parts of the body and of psychosocial and individual factors reported in 1998 on short-term and long-term sickness absence from MSD reported in 2000.
Results
MSD accounted for 45% of all working days lost the year prior to follow-up in 2000. Blue-collar workers had significantly higher risk than white-collar workers for both short- and long-term sickness absence from MSD (long-term sickness absence: RR = 3.04, 95% CI 2.08–4.45). Widespread and low back pain in 1998 significantly predicted both short- and long-term sickness absence in 2000. In addition, shoulder pain predicted long-term sickness absence. Low social support predicted short-term sickness absence (RR = 1.28, 95% CI 1.11–1.49).
Conclusions
Reducing sickness absence from MSD among industrial workers requires focusing on the working conditions of blue-collar workers and risk factors for low back pain and widespread pain. Increasing social support in the work environment may have effects in reducing short-term sickness absence from MSD.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-4-21
PMCID: PMC200978  PMID: 12956891
sickness absence; musculoskeletal disorders; low back pain; widespread pain; blue-collar workers; social support
8.  Work-life conflict and musculoskeletal disorders: a cross-sectional study of an unexplored association 
Background
The health consequences of work-family or rather work-life conflict (WLC) have been studied by numerous researchers. The work-related causes of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are also well explored. And stress (at work) has been found to be a consequence of WLC as well as a cause of MSD. But very little is known about a potential association between WLC and MSD and the possible mediating role of stress in this relationship.
Methods
Survey data collected in 2007 among the workforces of four large companies in Switzerland were used for this study. The study population covered 6091 employees. As the exposure variable and hypothesized risk factor for MSD, WLC was measured by using a 10-item scale based on an established 18-item scale on work-family conflict. The outcome variables used as indicators of MSD were (low) back pain and neck/shoulder pain. Stress as the assumed intervening variable was assessed by a validated single-item measure of general stress perception. Correlation coefficients (r), standardized regression coefficients (β) and multiple adjusted odds ratios (OR) were calculated as measures of association.
Results
WLC was found to be quite strongly associated with MSD (β = .21). This association turned out to be substantially confounded by physical strain at work, workload and job autonomy and was considerably reduced but far from being completely eliminated after adjusting for general stress as another identified risk factor of MSD and a proven strong correlate of WLC (r = .44). A significant and relevant association still remained (β = .10) after having controlled for all considered covariates. This association could be fully attributed to only one direction of WLC, namely the work-to-life conflict. In subsequent analyses, a clear gradient between this WLC direction and both types of MSD was found, and proved to be consistent for both men and women. Employees who were most exposed to such work-to-life conflict were also most at risk and showed a fivefold higher prevalence rate (19%-42%) and also an up to sixfold increased relative risk (OR = 3.8-6.3) of suffering greatly from these types of MSD compared with the least exposed reference group showing very low WLC in this direction. Including stress in the regression models again reduced the strength of the association significantly (OR = 1.9-4.1), giving an indication for a possible indirect effect of WLC on MSD mediated by stress.
Conclusion
Future research and workplace interventions for the prevention of MSD need to consider WLC as an important stressor, and the MSD risk factor identified in this study.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-12-60
PMCID: PMC3073966  PMID: 21410950
9.  Assessing the impact of waste picking on musculoskeletal disorders among waste pickers in Mumbai, India: a cross-sectional study 
BMJ Open  2015;5(9):e008474.
Objective
To assess the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) as well as the impact of the occupation of waste picking on complaints of MSDs among waste pickers. The study attempts to understand the risk factors for MSDs in various areas of the body.
Design
A cross-sectional household survey was conducted using a case-control design. The survey instrument for measuring musculoskeletal symptoms was adopted from a standardised Nordic questionnaire. The impact of the occupation of waste picking on MSDs was analysed using the propensity score matching (PSM) method.
Participants
The study population consisted of waste pickers (n=200) who had been working for at least a year and a control group (n=213) selected from among or living close to the same communities.
Results
The 12-month prevalence of MSDs was higher among waste pickers (79%) compared to controls (55%) particularly in the lower back (54–36%), knee (48–35%), upper back (40–21%) and shoulder (32–12%). Similar patterns were observed in the 12-month prevalence of MSDs which prevented normal activity inside and outside the home, particularly for the lower back (36–21%), shoulder (21–7%) and upper back (25–12%) for waste pickers and controls. Analysis of the impact of waste picking on complaints of MSDs suggests that the occupation of waste picking raises the risk of MSDs particularly in the shoulder, lower and upper back. Older age and longer duration of work are significant risk factors for MSDs.
Conclusions
The findings suggest a relatively higher prevalence of MSDs among waste pickers, particularly in the lower and upper back and shoulder, compared to controls. Preventive measures and treatment to minimise the burden of MSDs among waste pickers are strongly recommended.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008474
PMCID: PMC4593149  PMID: 26408284
PUBLIC HEALTH
10.  Work disability benefits due to musculoskeletal disorders among Brazilian private sector workers 
BMJ Open  2011;1(1):e000003.
Objective
To evaluate the prevalence and characteristics of disability benefits due to musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) granted to Brazilian private sector workers.
Methods
This was a population-based epidemiological study of MSD-related benefits among registered private sector workers (n=32 959 329). The prevalence (benefits/10 000 workers/year) of work disability benefits was calculated by gender, age, state, Human Development Index (HDI), economic activity, MSD type and work-relatedness.
Results
The prevalence of MSD-related benefits in Brazil among registered private sector workers in 2008 was 93.6/10 000 workers. The prevalence increased with age, and was higher for women (112.2) than for men (88.1), although the former had shorter benefit duration. The gender-adjusted prevalence by state varied from 16.6 to 90.3 for non-work-related, and from 7.8 to 59.6 for work-related benefits. The Brazilian states with a high–very high HDI had the highest prevalence. The top four most common types of MSD-related benefits were due to back pain, intervertebral disc disorders, sinovitis/tenosynovitis and shoulder disorders.
Conclusion
MSD is a frequent cause of work disability in Brazil. There were differences in prevalence among economic activities and between states grouped by HDI. This study demonstrates that further evaluation of the contributing factors associated with MSD-related disability benefits is required. Factors that should be considered include production processes, political organisation, socioeconomic and educational characteristics, the compensation and recording systems, and employee–employer power relationships. These factors may play an important role in the prevalence of MSD-related disability benefits, especially in countries with large socioeconomic iniquities such as Brazil.
Article summary
Article focus
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are a major cause of disability worldwide.
The prevalence and distribution of MSD among Brazilian workers are not well known.
This article evaluates the prevalence and characteristics of disability benefits due to MSD granted to Brazilian private sector workers.
Key messages
The prevalence of MSD-related benefits among registered Brazilian private sector workers in 2008 was 93.6/10 000 workers, with the top four most common benefits being due to back pain, intervertebral disc disorders, sinovitis/tenosynovitis and shoulder disorders.
This study demonstrates that further evaluation of the contributing factors associated with MSD-related disability benefits is required and should assess the production processes, political organisation, socioeconomic and educational characteristics, the compensation and recording systems, and employee–employer power relationships.
These factors may play an important role in the prevalence of MSD-related disability benefits, especially in countries with large socioeconomic iniquities such as Brazil.
Strengths and limitations of this study
All employed workers with a registered job in the private sector were analysed (32 959 329 workers). Prevalence was adjusted by gender, age and category of benefit (work-related or non-work-related). This initial descriptive study provides some baseline data on the magnitude of the problem. The data may be used for future comparisons and to evaluate the effectiveness of prevention programs. The strength of this paper is that it supplies information which could be useful in the implementation of an occupational health policy to reduce MSD. One of the limitations is that it only includes data from registered workers although there are many non-registered workers in Brazil. Another limitation is that this study depends on the quality of the data recorded by the National Insurer (NI) of the Brazilian Ministry of Social Insurance.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000003
PMCID: PMC3191405  PMID: 22021719
11.  Musculoskeletal disorder risk factors among nursing professionals in low resource settings: a cross-sectional study in Uganda 
BMC Nursing  2014;13:7.
Background
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) constitute one of the main occupational hazards among health care workers. However, few epidemiological studies on work related MSD among nursing professionals have been carried out in Africa. The purpose of this study was to assess the work related musculoskeletal disorders and associated risk factors among nursing professionals in Uganda.
Methods
This was a cross-sectional study of MSD among 880 nursing professionals from five selected hospitals in Uganda. Data was collected using a questionnaire adapted from the Dutch Musculoskeletal and Nordic Musculoskeletal questionnaires. Descriptive (mean, standard deviation and percentages) and inferential (Chi square test and logistic regression analysis) statistics were used to analyse data. Alpha level was set at p < 0.05.
Results
A total of 741 completed questionnaires were analysed (response rate 85.4%). The average age of the respondents was 35.4 (SD 10.7) years and a majority were female (85.7%). The average working hours per week was 43.7 (SD 18.9 hours). The 12-month period-prevalence of MSD at anybody site was 80.8%. The most common site of MSD was the lower back (61.9%). Significant risk factors for reported MSD included often working in a slightly bent posture (adjOR 2.25, 95% CI 1.20-4.26), often working in a slightly twisted posture for long (adjOR 1.97, 95% CI 1.03-3.77), mental exhaustion (adjOR 2.05, 95% CI 1.17-3.5), being absent from the work station for more than 6 months due to illness or an accident (adjO|R, 4.35, 95% CI 1.44-13.08) and feeling rested after a break (adjOR 2.09, 95% CI 1.16-3.76).
Conclusions
Musculoskeletal disorders affect more than 80% of nursing professionals in Uganda with the most commonly, affected site being the lower back. Significant risk factors for MSD include; being absent from the work station for more than 6 months due to illness or an accident, working in awkward postures, pushing/pulling of heavy loads and mental exhaustion. There is a need for greater advocacy, better working conditions and adoption of strategies to reduce occupational injuries.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-13-7
PMCID: PMC3940025  PMID: 24565421
Musculoskeletal disorders; Risk factors; Uganda
12.  A systematic review of musculoskeletal disorders among school teachers 
Background
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) represent one of the most common and most expensive occupational health problems in both developed and developing countries. School teachers represent an occupational group among which there appears to be a high prevalence of MSD. Given that causes of MSD have been described as multi-factorial and prevalence rates vary between body sites and location of study, the objective of this systematic review was to investigate the prevalence and risk factors for MSD among teaching staff.
Methods
The study involved an extensive search of MEDLINE and EMBASE databases in 2011. All studies which reported on the prevalence and/or risk factors for MSD in the teaching profession were initially selected for inclusion. Reference lists of articles identified in the original search were then examined for additional publications. Of the 80 articles initially located, a final group of 33 met the inclusion criteria and were examined in detail.
Results
This review suggests that the prevalence of self-reported MSD among school teachers ranges between 39% and 95%. The most prevalent body sites appear to be the back, neck and upper limbs. Nursery school teachers appear to be more likely to report suffering from low back pain. Factors such as gender, age, length of employment and awkward posture have been associated with higher MSD prevalence rates.
Conclusion
Overall, this study suggests that school teachers are at a high risk of MSD. Further research, preferably longitudinal, is required to more thoroughly investigate the issue of MSD among teachers, with a greater emphasis on the possible wider use of ergonomic principles. This would represent a major step forward in the prevention of MSD among teachers, especially if easy to implement control measures could be recommended.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-12-260
PMCID: PMC3250950  PMID: 22087739
13.  Musculoskeletal disorders among construction workers: a one-year follow-up study 
Background
Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are an important cause of functional impairments and disability among construction workers. An improved understanding of MSDs in different construction occupations is likely to be of value for selecting preventive measures. This study aimed to survey the prevalence of symptoms of MSDs, the work-relatedness of the symptoms and the problems experienced during work among two construction occupations: bricklayers and supervisors.
Methods
We randomly selected 750 bricklayers and 750 supervisors resident in the Netherlands in December 2009. This sample was surveyed by means of a baseline questionnaire and a follow-up questionnaire one year later. The participants were asked about complaints of the musculoskeletal system during the last six months, the perceived work-relatedness of the symptoms, the problems that occurred during work and the occupational tasks that were perceived as causes or aggravating factors of the MSD.
Results
Baseline response rate was 37%, follow-up response was 80%. The prevalence of MSDs among 267 bricklayers and 232 supervisors was 67% and 57%, respectively. Complaints of the back, knee and shoulder/upper arm were the most prevalent among both occupations. Irrespective of the body region, most of the bricklayers and supervisors reported that their complaints were work-related. Complaints of the back and elbow were the most often reported among the bricklayers during work, whereas lower arm/wrist and upper leg complaints were the most often reported among the supervisors. In both occupations, a majority of the participants perceived several occupational physical tasks and activities as causes or aggravating factors for their MSD. Recurrent complaints at follow-up were reported by both bricklayers (47% of the complaints) and supervisors (31% of the complaints). Participants in both occupations report that mainly back and knee complaints result in additional problems during work, at the time of follow-up.
Conclusions
A substantial number of the bricklayers and the supervisors report musculoskeletal disorders, mainly back, knee and shoulder/upper arm complaints. The majority of the bricklayers and half of the supervisors believe that their complaints are work-related. Irrespective of occupation, participants with MSDs report substantial problems during work. Workplace intervention measures aimed at occupational physical tasks and activities seem justified for both occupations.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-196
PMCID: PMC3489781  PMID: 23061990
Construction industry; Longitudinal study; Work-related musculoskeletal disorders
14.  High and specialty-related musculoskeletal disorders afflict dental professionals even since early training years 
Journal of Applied Oral Science  2013;21(4):376-382.
Objective
To determine how early musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) develop in dental professionals and to explore the potential differences among distinct dental specialties.
Material and Methods
271 dental postgraduates majoring in five dental specialties were recruited, i.e., orthodontics, prosthodontics, endodontics, periodontics and alveolar surgery. 254 age-matched non-dental postgraduates served as the control. The standardized Nordic questionnaire on MSDs and a self-report questionnaire regarding correlative factors (only for dental postgraduates) were answered through emails. Reliability of responses was assessed applying test-retest method.
Results
The intraclass correlation coefficient of participants' answers ranged from 0.89 to 0.96. Dental postgraduates had significantly higher prevalence of MSDs than the control group, especially at neck, upper back and lower back. In all dental specialties included, high prevalence of MSDs was reported at neck (47.5%-69.8%), shoulders (50.8%-65.1%), lower back (27.1%-51.2%) and upper back (25.6%-46.5%), with lower prevalence at elbows (5.1%-18.6%), hips (3.4%-16.3%) and ankles (5.1%-11.6%). Periodontics students reported the worst MSDs in most body regions except wrists and knees, which were more prevalent for prosthodontic and alveolar surgery students, respectively. Furthermore, year of clinical work, clinical hours per week and desk hours per week were found as risk factors for MSDs, whereas physical exercise and rest between patients as protective factors.
Conclusions
High and specialty-related MSDs afflict dental professionals even since very early stage of careers. Prevention aimed at the specialty-related characteristics and the risk/protective factors revealed in this study should be introduced to dental personnel as early as possible.
doi:10.1590/1679-775720130165
PMCID: PMC3881886  PMID: 24037079
Occupational health; Musculoskeletal diseases; Specialty; Dentists; Dental education
15.  Work-related musculoskeletal discomfort of dairy farmers and employed workers 
Background
Dairy farming is physically demanding and associated with a high frequency of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). This study investigated and compared work-related MSD, ergonomic work factors and physical exertion in farmers and employed farm workers on dairy farms in Sweden.
Methods
The study comprised 66 dairy farmers, and 37 employed dairy farm workers. A modified version of the general Standardised Nordic Questionnaire was used for analyses of perceived MSD in nine different parts of the body. Perceived physical discomfort was assessed using questions concerning ergonomic work factors. A rating scale was used for analyses of perceived physical exertion. Information about participant demographics was also collected. The response rate amounted to 70%.
Results
The most frequently reported MSD in farmers and farm workers were located in the lower back (50% and 43%, respectively) and the shoulders (47% and 43%, respectively). MSD were also frequently reported in the neck (33%) among farmers, and in the hands/wrist (41%) among farm workers. MSD in the elbows (23%) and feet (21%) were significantly more frequently reported by farmers than farm workers (5%). Female farmers and farm workers both reported significantly higher frequencies of MSD in the neck (48% and 56%, respectively) and hands/wrists (44% and 61%, respectively) than their male colleagues (24% and 5%; 10% and 21%, respectively). In addition, female farm workers had significantly higher reported frequencies of MSD in the upper and lower back (39% and 61%, respectively) than their male counterparts (5% and 26%, respectively). Milking was perceived as a weakly to moderately physically demanding work task. Repetitive and monotonous work in dairy houses was the ergonomic work factor most frequently reported as causing physically discomfort among farmers (36%) and farm workers (32%), followed by lifting heavy objects (17% and 27%, respectively). Female workers had significantly more reported discomfort from repetitive and monotonous work than their male counterparts (50% and 16%, respectively).
Conclusion
Despite the technical developments on modern dairy farms, there is still a high prevalence of MSD and discomfort from ergonomic work factors, particularly among female workers.
doi:10.1186/1745-6673-7-23
PMCID: PMC3534013  PMID: 23152974
Ergonomic work factors; Work environment; Physical exertion; Dairy farming; Milking; Agriculture; Questionnaire; Rating scale
16.  Biomarkers of systemic inflammation in farmers with musculoskeletal disorders; a plasma proteomic study 
Background
Farmers have an increased risk for musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) such as osteoarthritis of the hip, low back pain, and neck and upper limb complaints. The underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Work-related exposures and inflammatory responses might be involved. Our objective was to identify plasma proteins that differentiated farmers with MSD from rural referents.
Methods
Plasma samples from 13 farmers with MSD and rural referents were included in the investigation. Gel based proteomics was used for protein analysis and proteins that differed significantly between the groups were identified by mass spectrometry.
Results
In total, 15 proteins differed significantly between the groups. The levels of leucine-rich alpha-2-glycoprotein, haptoglobin, complement factor B, serotransferrin, one isoform of kininogen, one isoform of alpha-1-antitrypsin, and two isoforms of hemopexin were higher in farmers with MSD than in referents. On the other hand, the levels of alpha-2-HS-glycoprotein, alpha-1B-glycoprotein, vitamin D- binding protein, apolipoprotein A1, antithrombin, one isoform of kininogen, and one isoform of alpha-1-antitrypsin were lower in farmers than in referents. Many of the identified proteins are known to be involved in inflammation.
Conclusions
Farmers with MSD had altered plasma levels of protein biomarkers compared to the referents, indicating that farmers with MSD may be subject to a more systemic inflammation. It is possible that the identified differences of proteins may give clues to the biochemical changes occurring during the development and progression of MSD in farmers, and that one or several of these protein biomarkers might eventually be used to identify and prevent work-related MSD.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12891-016-1059-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12891-016-1059-y
PMCID: PMC4862124  PMID: 27160764
Musculoskeletal disorder; Farmers; Proteomic; Systemic inflammation; Occupational medicine
17.  The Prevalence of and Risk Factors Associated with Musculoskeletal Disorders among Sonographers in Central China: A Cross-Sectional Study 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(10):e0163903.
Objective
Studies from industrialized countries show that musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) occur commonly in sonographers. However, little is known about sonographers in China, where the awareness of ergonomics and MSD, workload, and available equipment/facilities may differ. We aimed to investigate the prevalence of MSD and associated risk factors in sonographers in central China.
Methods
A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 381 sonographers from 14 randomly selected tertiary hospitals in Hubei province, central China. Musculoskeletal symptoms (using the Nordic Questionnaire) and risk factors (mostly derived from the Health Benefit Trust survey instrument and the Dutch Musculoskeletal Questionnaire) were recorded. Multivariate logistic regression was used to quantify associations between risk factors and MSD.
Results
The 12-month period prevalence of MSD was 98.3%, being highest in the neck (93.5%) and shoulder (92.2%), followed by the lower back (83.2%), wrist/hand, upper back, and elbow. Factors contributing to neck pain were psychological fatigue, shoulder abduction and trunk bend-and-twist posture. Height-adjustable tables and chairs were protective factors. Shoulder pain was associated with female sex, health status, mental stress, shoulder abduction, and trunk bend-and-twist posture. Height-adjustable chairs and the awareness of adjusting the workstation before scanning were protective factors. Elbow pain was associated with health status and height-adjustable tables. Wrist/hand pain was associated with female sex, bending the wrist, and working with obese patients. Upper back pain was associated with shoulder abduction, height-adjustable chairs, and device location. Lower back pain was associated with the number of scans performed per day, awkward postures, bending the trunk, twisting or bending the neck forward, and using a footrest.
Conclusions
This study suggests a high prevalence of MSD in sonographers in central China. Hence, it is necessary to improve the awareness of MSD by training, and the ergonomics of their current work environment by addressing physical workload, and psychological and equipment/facility-related factors.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0163903
PMCID: PMC5047644  PMID: 27695095
18.  Musculoskeletal disorders among municipal solid waste workers in India: A cross-sectional risk assessment 
Background:
Waste management is a necessary activity around the world, but involves a variety of health hazards. In a developing country like India, municipal solid waste is collected manually requiring heavy physical activity. Among all occupational health issues, musculoskeletal problems are common among waste collectors in the form of nonfatal injuries because of the presence of such risk factors (lifting, carrying, pulling, and pushing). We have thus conducted this study to evaluate musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among municipal solid waste (MSW) workers.
Methodology:
A cross-sectional study using probability proportionate to size sampling, recruited 220 MSW workers from the Chennai Municipal Corporation, India for this study. A pretested validated questionnaire has been used to collect data on demographic and occupational history and information on musculoskeletal pain. Data analysis was performed using R software (3.0.1 version).
Results:
70% of the participants reported that they had been troubled with musculoskeletal pain in one or more of the 9 defined body regions during the last 12 months, whereas 91.8% had pain during the last 7 days. Higher prevalence of symptoms in knees, shoulders, and lower back was found to be 84.5%, 74.5%, and 50.9% respectively. Female illiterate workers with lower socioeconomic status were found to have higher odds for MSDs. Similarly, higher body mass index having no physical activity increases the chance of odds having MSDs.
Conclusion:
The higher percentage of musculoskeletal symptoms among MSW workers could be attributed to the long duration of employment, the low job control, and the nature of their job, which is physically demanding. A workplace of health promotion model integration can minimize the reported high prevalence, and a prospective cohort study could be recommended further.
doi:10.4103/2249-4863.174270
PMCID: PMC4776602  PMID: 26985409
Municipal solid waste; musculoskeletal disorders; risk assessment
19.  Musculoskeletal disorders among nursing staff: a comparison of five hospitals in Uganda 
Introduction
Low and middle income countries have severe nursing staff shortages which is associated with risk of poor quality of patient care and increased patient exposure to adverse events. This is accompanied with increased risk of musculoskeletal disorders to the nursing staff. This paper sets out to identify and compare factors associated with musculoskeletal disorders among nursing staff in 5 different hospitals in Uganda.
Methods
This was a cross sectional study on nurses from 5 different hospitals in Uganda. The study used a 12 month recall of reported Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) among nurses. Ethical approval was obtained. Logistic regression analysis and ANOVA were used. The level of significance was set at 0.05 for all statistical tests.
Results
There were 755 respondents of whom 433 (58.4%) were nurses. The prevalence of MSD at anybody site was 80.8%. There were significant differences in reported MSD among nursing staff across different hospital settings which were worse in the public hospitals as compared to the private and private not for profit hospitals (p <0.001). Age (adjusted OR 1.03, 95% CI 1.01-1.06), self reported poor general health status (adj OR 4.5, 95% CI 2.8-7.24) and stress as suggested by waking up tired in the morning (adj OR 3.4, 95% CI 2.17-5.32) were significant associated factors for MSD in this population.
Conclusiom
Reported MSD among nursing staff across 5 different hospitals is worse in public as compared to private hospitals. Age, self reported poor general health status and stress were important factors for MSD in this population.
doi:10.11604/pamj.2014.17.81.3213
PMCID: PMC4085942  PMID: 25018829
Musculoskeletal disorders; nurses; public and private hospitals; Uganda
20.  Miniscalpel-Needle Treatment Is Effective for Work-Related Neck and Shoulder Musculoskeletal Disorders 
Background. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are a group of painful disorders of muscles, tendons, and nerves, such as neck and shoulder MSD. This study was designed to use miniscalpel-needle (MSN) technique as an intervention for work-related MSDs. Methods. Thirty-one patients with work-related MSDs and 28 healthy subjects were enrolled as controls in this study. The MSD symptoms of each patient were assessed by visual analog scale (VAS) and neck disability index (NDI). Blood samples were collected from control subjects and MSD patients before and after treatment. Serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) were measured using ELISA. Results. Prior to MSN treatment, serum levels of CRP and TNF were significantly higher in the MSD patients than the healthy controls. Serum CRP levels correlated with VAS and NDI scores, and serum TNF levels correlated with NDI scores. Compared to pretreatment, VAS and NDI scores were significantly lower in MSD patients after MSN treatment, while serum CRP and TNF levels were significantly lower compared with the healthy control levels. Conclusions. Our results indicate that MSN may be an effective intervention for work-related MSDs and be associated with lower serum levels of inflammatory biomarkers.
doi:10.1155/2016/5760240
PMCID: PMC4921642  PMID: 27382406
21.  Musculoskeletal disorders among staff in South Korea’s largest nursing home 
Objectives
Although musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) represent a significant occupational issue for most nursing home staff, few epidemiological studies have been conducted in Korea.
Methods
We investigated the prevalence of, and risk factors for, MSD within South Korea’s largest nursing home using a previously validated, self-reporting questionnaire.
Results
From a total of 130 registered employees, 91 (70.0%) successfully completed questionnaires were obtained. The majority were female (80.2%, n=73), with an age range of 27 to 62 years and an average age of 47.0 years (SD 8.0). MSD occurred in varying amounts and was classified into distinct categories depending on body site. The most commonly affected region was the shoulder (reported by 35.2%), followed by the arm (22.0%), knee (20.9%) and lower back (19.8%). Three statistically significant risk factors were consistently identified among all 4 MSD sites: manually handling patients (OR 5.1 to 20.8), changing a patient’s clothes (OR 6.7 to 30.1) and working as a nursing aide (OR 3.7 to 74.3).
Conclusions
Overall, the present results suggest that employment within a South Korean nursing home incurs certain hazards depending on job description and daily work tasks. The MSD prevalence differed from other occupations within South Korea and previous nursing home studies.
doi:10.1007/BF02897940
PMCID: PMC2723262  PMID: 21432112
musculoskeletal disorders; nursing home; Korea; low back pain; self-reported
22.  Risk factors of acute and overuse musculoskeletal injuries among young conscripts: a population-based cohort study 
Background
Military service in Finland is compulsory for all male citizens and annually about 80% of 19-year-old men enter into the service. The elevated risk for many chronic diseases and loss of function among those who are inactive and unfit can be often detected already in youth. On the other hand, activity-induced injuries among young are true public health issue. The purpose of the present prospective cohort follow-up study was to evaluate predictive associations between acute or overuse injuries and their various intrinsic risk factors.
Methods
Four successive cohorts of conscripts who formed a representative sample of Finnish young men were followed for 6 months. At the beginning of the service, the risk factors of injuries were measured and recorded and then the acute and overuse injuries treated at the garrison clinic were identified. Predictive associations between injuries and their risk factors were examined by multivariate Cox’s proportional hazard models.
Results
Of the 1411 participants, 27% sustained an acute injury and 51% suffered from overuse injury. Concerning acute injuries, highest risk for severe injuries were detected among conscripts with low fitness level in both the standing long-jump and push-up tests (hazard rate, HR=5.9; 95% CI: 1.6‒21.3). A history of good degree in school sports was not a protective factor against acute injuries. High waist circumference and, on the other hand, being underweight according to BMI increased the HR for overuse injuries. Brisk leisure time physical activity before military entry was a protective factor against overuse injuries. Poor result in Cooper’s test was a warning signal of elevated risk of overuse injuries.
Conclusion
We confirmed previous findings that low level of physical fitness is predictor for musculoskeletal injuries during intensive physical training. The U-shaped relationship between body composition and overuse injuries was noticed indicating that both obesity and underweight are risk factors for overuse injuries. Persons with excellent sports skills according to their earlier degrees in school sports had similar HR for acute injuries than those with poorer degrees. This indicates that school-age sports skills and fitness do not carry far and therefore preventive programmes are needed to prevent activity-induced injuries.
doi:10.1186/s12891-015-0557-7
PMCID: PMC4429711  PMID: 25925549
Risk factors; Sporting injuries; Physical fitness; Physical activity; Military training
23.  Stability and change in health behaviours as predictors for disability pension: a prospective cohort study of Swedish twins 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:678.
Background
Stability or changes of health behaviours have not been studied in association with incidence of disability pension (DP). The aims were to (1) investigate if stability or changes in health behaviours predict DP due to musculoskeletal diagnosis (MSD), (2) to evaluate if an association exists for DP in general, and (3) after taking familial confounding into account.
Methods
The study sample was 16,713 like-sexed twin individuals born in Sweden between 1935-1958 (6195 complete twin pairs) who had participated in two surveys 25 years apart, were alive, and not pensioned at the time of the latest survey. Cox proportional hazards analysis was used to assess the associations (hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI)) between stability and change in health behaviours (physical activity, tobacco and alcohol use, body mass index (BMI)), and number of pain locations collected at two time points 25 years apart and the incidence of DP until 2008.
Results
During the follow-up, 1843 (11%) individuals were granted DP with 747 of these due to MSD. A higher proportion of women were granted DP than men. Increase in BMI and stable use of tobacco products were predictors for DP due to MSD (HR 1.21-1.48) and DP in general (HR 1.10-1.41). The stability in the frequency of physical activity and increased frequency of physical activity were protective factors for DP due to MSD only when accounting for familial confounding. However, the number of pain locations (stability, increase, or decrease) was the strongest predictor for future DP due to MSD (HR 3.69, CI 2.99-4.56) and DP in general (HR 2.15, CI 1.92-2.42). In discordant pair analysis, the HRs for pain were lower, indicating potential familial confounding.
Conclusions
Health behaviours in adulthood, including an increase in pain locations were associated with the incidence of DP. The association between physical activity and DP was especially related to adulthood choices or habits, i.e., the individual decision about frequency of exercising. Thus, it is important to e.g. increase public awareness of the potential beneficial effects of exercise throughout life to avoid permanent exclusion from the labour market for medical reasons.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-678
PMCID: PMC3176221  PMID: 21880151
24.  Effects of Mentoring Speed Dating as an Innovative Matching Tool in Undergraduate Medical Education: A Mixed Methods Study 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(2):e0147444.
Objectives
Choosing the right mentor is crucial for effective mentorship. Yet, many medical students have difficulties finding a suitable mentor. Thus we developed mentoring speed dating (MSD) as a promising matching tool to connect students and faculty mentors successfully. The purpose of this study was to explore mentees’ and mentors’ experience with MSD and investigate the impact of MSD on the perceived mentorship quality and continuance of the mentoring relationship.
Methods
The authors completed a mixed methods study at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany, between June 2011 and March 2014. They conducted four focus groups with mentees and mentors who participated in a mentoring speed dating event and analyzed transcripts using conventional content analysis with inductive categorizing. In addition, three mentoring cohorts (two matched via MSD, one matched via conventional online profiles) were surveyed on mentorship satisfaction and the 1-year continuance of their mentorship was monitored. Fifteen mentees and fifteen mentors participated in the focus groups. The authors identified several themes such as short and long term benefits of MSD and fulfillment of expectations. Benefits included finding out about the personal connection, matching expectations, providing an efficient overview of candidates. The survey was completed by 93 students (n = 29 without MSD; n = 64 with MSD). Independent t-tests and multivariate analysis of variance were used to analyze the impact of MSD on student’s mentorship satisfaction.
Results
There were significant differences in responses to the items “Commitment of mentor” (p = .019) and “Constructive feedback” (p = .038) among the students who attended MSD and the students without MSD. After one year far more mentoring relationships existed among those mentees who participated in MSD in comparison to the “no MSD group”.
Conclusion
MSD is a valuable matching tool with beneficial effects on the mentorship quality. It enhances essential factors in the mentoring relationship such as commitment and satisfaction.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0147444
PMCID: PMC4747568  PMID: 26859845
25.  Occupational and Personal Determinants of Musculoskeletal Disorders among Urban Taxi Drivers in Ghana 
Background. There is a lack of epidemiological data on musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among occupational drivers in Ghana. The present study seeks to estimate the prevalence, body distribution, and occupational and personal determinants of MSDs in a sample of taxi drivers in the Accra Metropolis of Ghana. Methods. A total of 210 participants were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. All the participants were evaluated by using a semistructured questionnaire and the standardized Nordic Musculoskeletal Disorder Questionnaire. Results. The estimated prevalence of MSDs was 70.5%. The prevalence of the various MSD domains was as follows: lower back pain (34.3%), upper back pain (16.7%), neck pain (15.2%), shoulder pain (11.0%), knee pain (10.0%), hip/thigh pain (2.9%), elbow pain (4.8%), ankle/feet pain (2.4%), and wrist/hand pain (1.9%). Multiple logistic regression analysis of the data showed that participants who were employee drivers, drove taxi more than 12 hours per day or at least 5 days per week, perceived their job as stressful, and were dissatisfied with their job were at a greater risk of developing MSDs. Conclusions. These findings call for preventive strategies and safety guidelines in order to reduce the incidence of MSDs among urban taxi drivers in Ghana.
doi:10.1155/2014/517259
PMCID: PMC4897274  PMID: 27379297

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