ANALYSIS OF THE EFFECTS OF AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY BASED HEALTH PROMOTION AND INJURY PREVENTION PROGRAM FOR REGISTERED NURSES
Past studies had identified factors that contributed to the general health of nurses, identified nurses primary stressors, and found that nurses had a higher risk of injury due to the nature of their work. However, no studies addressed the interrelationship of psychosocial stress and back injury or back pain in nurses. Furthermore, the issue of nurses' lifestyle factors, stress management levels and the effects of these factors on discomfort in movement had not been addressed. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of an Occupational Therapy based health promotion and injury prevention program for registered nurses on self-reported stress levels, self -reported levels of back discomfort, self reported levels of health, and workers compensation claims. This program consisted of a four-hour training program for the experimental group conducted by an Occupational Therapist. The training program included an educational session on the following: postural habits related to sitting, standing and work activities, the effects of smoking on the spine, body mechanics instruction, the physiology of stress, stress management instruction and incorporating wellness for a balanced lifestyle. The subjects for this study were registered nurses working within a three-hospital system in southern Ohio. Subjects were current practicing full-time Registered Nurses, employed on a 40 or more bed medical surgical inpatient hospital unit within a three-hospital system. The Nurses Wellness Survey (NWS) was a 36 item measure of personal health as related to occupational factors including stress, personal back health history and lifestyle factors. The key areas evaluated in the survey were: (a) use of stress management techniques, (b) self reported level of health, (c) caffeine consumption, (d) smoking behavior, (e) exercise behavior, (f) self reported back discomfort factors, (g) back related history, (h) self reported stress levels and (i) knowledge of proper body mechanics. The NWS was adapted from the Yaloff Back Health Risk Appraisal Tool. Testing was conducted on the NWS and the instrument was found valid and reliable. The results of this study revealed no significant differences at post-test between the experimental and control group in the following: self-rated discomfort, self-reported ability to manage discomfort, caffeine consumption, number of minutes of exercise per week, self-reported level of health, knowledge of body mechanics and workers compensation claims. Baseline scores for the experimental and control groups were comparable. In addition, the findings revealed that both groups of nurses reported being under a moderately high level of stress with a limited mean number of minutes of exercise per week noted for experimental and control groups.
School:University of Cincinnati
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:body mechanics back discomfort stress management
Date of Publication:01/01/2001