Recently qualified physiotherapists’ perceptions of their risk of developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders

Lynsey Graham, Heather Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs) among physiotherapists may be as high as 91%, with recently qualified clinicians at greatest risk. Therefore, using a focus group design, this study explored how physiotherapists, within their first 5 years of practice, perceive WRMSDs.

Participants perceived physiotherapy as a high-risk profession; however, they felt that their training would prevent them developing ‘serious’ injuries. Injury preventative strategies were often neglected owing to high caseloads, time constraints, a desire to appear able to cope and moral obligations towards patients. The physiotherapists tended to respond to WRMSDs by self-treating, becoming more aware of their personal risk and taking future precautions as a result.

This study highlights that there is a significant need to increase physiotherapists' awareness of their risk of WRMSDs, as well as shifting the culture within the health services to one that facilitates the use of preventative strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-307
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation
Volume12
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2005

Keywords

  • work-related musculoskeletal injuries
  • physiotherapists
  • training
  • preventative strategies

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