Musculoskeletal complaints in dental hygiene: a survey study from a Swedish county

J Dent Hyg. 1993 Jul-Aug;67(5):257-61.


Purpose: Musculoskeletal complaints in dental hygienists all employed by the National Dental Service in a Swedish county were evaluated with a standardized questionnaire.

Methods: During an ergonomics course, a questionnaire similar to standardized Nordic questionnaires was completed by all 28 participants. The questionnaire elicited demographic data and the presence and location of musculoskeletal complaints. Standard descriptive statistical methods were used to analyze the data.

Results: Subjects were all women, with a mean age of 40 years and a mean time of employment of five years. Most respondents worked part-time (mean 80%). Neck and shoulder complaints showed a clear predominance over other locations. Sixty-two percent of the subjects reported complaints associated with the neck and 81% with one or both shoulders during the previous 12 months. The frequency of complaints was higher on the right side.

Conclusions: Most neck, shoulder, arm, and back complaints were considered work-related according to the dental hygienists themselves. The frequency of lower extremity complaints was low, and only a few of these complaints were considered work-related.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brachial Plexus Neuritis / epidemiology
  • Brachial Plexus Neuritis / etiology
  • Dental Hygienists*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Task Performance and Analysis*