Musculoskeletal risk to physical therapists during overground gait training: A case report

Bernadette McCrory, Amanda Harlow, Judith M. Burnfield

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Physical therapists have a disproportionately high risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) that may be attributed to the substantial physical support and facilitation they provide during physical rehabilitation. Over the last decade, safety efforts have focused primarily on patients. To decrease the incidence and prevalence of WMSDs, health and safety hazards affecting physical therapists need to be addressed. Method: Two semi-quantitative ergonomic assessment tools, the rapid entire body assessment (REBA) and rapid upper limb assessment (RULA), were used to evaluate a physical therapist's posture during three overground gait training sessions, which included three sit-to-stand transfers. The tools stratified the therapist's posture into a WMSD risk level and accompanying action level. Results: The REBA stratified the therapist's posture into the very high risk level, implement change now during the sit-to-stand transfer and high risk level, investigate and implement change soon during overground gait. The RULA stratified the therapist's posture into action level 4, investigate and implement change immediately for both the sit-to-stand transfer and overground gait. Conclusion: Physical therapists are at high risk for WMSDs while performing sit-to-stand transfers and overground gait training. Urgent implementation of engineering and administrative controls is needed to reduce the risk of injury for physical therapists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2014 International Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, HFES 2014
PublisherHuman Factors an Ergonomics Society Inc.
Pages1219-1223
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780945289456
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Event58th International Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, HFES 2014 - Chicago, United States
Duration: Oct 27 2014Oct 31 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Volume2014-January
ISSN (Print)1071-1813

Other

Other58th International Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, HFES 2014
CountryUnited States
CityChicago
Period10/27/1410/31/14

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics

Cite this

McCrory, B., Harlow, A., & Burnfield, J. M. (2014). Musculoskeletal risk to physical therapists during overground gait training: A case report. In 2014 International Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, HFES 2014 (pp. 1219-1223). (Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society; Vol. 2014-January). Human Factors an Ergonomics Society Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1177/1541931214581254