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, 66 (3), 373-8

Work-related Injuries Among Physiotherapists in Public Hospitals: A Southeast Asian Picture


Work-related Injuries Among Physiotherapists in Public Hospitals: A Southeast Asian Picture

Nor Azlin M Nordin et al. Clinics (Sao Paulo).


Objectives: A cross-sectional study was conducted to measure the prevalence of work-related injuries among physiotherapists in Malaysia and to explore the influence of factors such as gender, body mass index, years of work experience and clinical placement areas on the occurrence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders.

Methods: Self-administered questionnaires adapted from the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire were sent to 105 physiotherapists at three main public hospitals in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The questionnaire had 12 items that covered demographic information, areas of musculoskeletal problems and physiotherapy techniques that could contribute to work-related musculoskeletal disorders. The data obtained were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Science version 14 software.

Results: The overall prevalence of work-related injuries during the past 12 months was 71.6%. Female therapists reported a significantly higher prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders than the male therapists (73.0%, p,0.001). Significant differences were observed between the proportion of therapists who had work-related musculoskeletal disorders and those who did not for the group with a body mass index (BMI) .25 (x² = 9.0, p = 0.003) and the group with a BMI of 18-25 (x² = 7.8, p = 0.006). Manual therapy (58.6%) and lifting/transfer tasks (41.3%) were the two physiotherapy techniques that most often contributed to work-related musculoskeletal disorders.

Conclusion: Work-related injuries are significantly higher among the physiotherapists in Malaysia compared with many other countries. Female therapists reported a higher incidence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders in this study, and work-related musculoskeletal disorders were more common among therapists working in the pediatric specialty. This study contributes to the understanding of work-related disorders among physiotherapists from a southeast Asian perspective where the profession is in its development stage.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Body areas affected by WRMDs among the therapists.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Physiotherapy techniques that contribute to WRMDs as reported by the therapists.

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