Aim: To examine the frequency and prevention of musculoskeletal pain in Japanese gastrointestinal endoscopists and non-endoscopist physicians.
Methods: Questionnaires were sent to 275 endoscopists and 173 non-endoscopists working in Hiroshima University Hospital and its affiliated hospitals.
Results: The completed questionnaires were returned by 190 (69%) endoscopists and 120 (69%) non-endoscopists. The frequency of pain in the hand and wrist, and especially the left thumb, was significantly higher in endoscopists than in non-endoscopists (17% vs 6%, P = 0.004). Using multivariate analysis, the only significant factor associated with this pain was the age of the endoscopist (odds ratio 2.77, 95% confidence interval, 1.23-6.71, P = 0.018). Interestingly, endoscopists had made significantly fewer modifications to their endoscopic practices than non-endoscopists (12% vs 33%, P < 0.0001) to prevent pain.
Conclusion: Pain in the hand and wrist may be endoscopy-related. However, endoscopists made little modifications in practice to prevent such pain. More attention to prevention appears necessary.
Keywords: Endoscopy; Musculoskeletal pain; Pain prevention.