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, 63 (2), 261-268

Physical Therapists With Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders in the State of Kuwait: A Comparison Across Countries and Health Care Professions

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Physical Therapists With Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders in the State of Kuwait: A Comparison Across Countries and Health Care Professions

Musaed Z Alnaser et al. Work.

Abstract

Background: In the US, as the demands for rehabilitation services increase, work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) have increased among rehabilitation practitioners. This trend has been noticed among physical therapists (PTs) in the State of Kuwait.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors associated with WMSDs among PTs in Kuwait over a 12-month period. In addition, the result compared across countries and health care professions.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional design was used in this study. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to the PT departments at Kuwait government hospitals and schools. A total of 312 returned questionnaires (69.3% response rate) were received.

Results: Results showed that 149 (48%) PT respondents experienced WMSDs. The lower back and muscle spasm were the most common area of the body injured and type of injury, respectively. Manual therapy techniques and patient transfers were most common activities associated with injuries.

Conclusions: The prevalence of PTs with WMSDs in Kuwait was high and similar to other studies of PTs with WMSDs working in other countries. The performance of work activities was the leading risk factor for WMSDs, and WMSDs were prevalent among industrialized, industrially developing, and underdeveloped countries. Education of PTs regarding ergonomic and biomechanical principles as well as hands-on training of patient handling are the key tools to help prevent WMSDs.

Keywords: Musculoskeletal injuries; occupational injuries; therapists; work incidence.

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