Prevention of low back pain in female eldercare workers: randomized controlled work site trial

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2006 Jul 15;31(16):1761-9. doi: 10.1097/01.brs.0000227326.35149.38.


Study design: Randomized controlled trial.

Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of an ergonomic and psychosocial intervention in reducing low back pain (LBP) among health care workers.

Summary of background data: LBP and injuries are reported frequently among health care workers worldwide. Improvement of person-transfer techniques is the preferred tool in the prevention of both. Although popular, to our knowledge, any effect has not been documented in controlled trials.

Methods: Study participants were eldercare workers from 19 eldercare groups randomly assigned to the transfer technique, stress management, or reference arm. A total of 163 individuals (79% of the source population) participated in both baseline and follow-up after 2 years. Outcome was intra-individual change in rating of LBP during the past 3 and 12 months.

Results: We found no difference in LBP in any of the intervention arms over the study period.

Conclusion: The study showed no effect of a transfer technique or stress management program targeting LBP. Thus, there is a need for discussing other priorities in the prevention of LBP among health care workers.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Burnout, Professional / prevention & control
  • Ergonomics*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Personnel*
  • Health Services for the Aged*
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / physiopathology
  • Low Back Pain / prevention & control*
  • Occupational Diseases / physiopathology
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Posture
  • Social Support*
  • Stress, Physiological / therapy
  • Weight-Bearing