Musculoskeletal disorders and psychosocial risk factors among veterinarians in Queensland, Australia

Smith, D.R., Leggat, P.A., and Speare, R. (2009) Musculoskeletal disorders and psychosocial risk factors among veterinarians in Queensland, Australia. Australian Veterinary Journal, 87 (7). pp. 260-265.

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Objective: Although musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) represent one of the most important occupational health issues in contemporary society, few studies have specifically investigated this problem among veterinarians.

Design: An anonymous questionnaire survey mailed to all veterinarians registered with the Veterinary Surgeons Board of Queensland during 2006.

Results: Almost two-thirds of respondents (63%) had experienced MSD of the lower back, 57% had experienced neck-related MSD, 52% had experienced shoulder-related MSD and 34% had experienced MSD of the upper back during the previous 12 months. MSD was statistically correlated with a range of psychosocial factors, including stress associated with career structure, time pressures, client's attitude, lack of recognition by the public, lack of recognition by colleagues, lack of understanding from family or partners and work stress because of insufficient holidays each year.

Conclusion: Overall, this study has demonstrated significant correlations between MSD and psychosocial risk factors among a large cohort of veterinarians, apparently for the first time in the published literature. The results also suggest that personal and workplace issues may contribute more to the development of MSD among veterinarians than many of the previously recognised ergonomic risk factors.

Item ID: 10901
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Veterinarian; workplace; Queensland; Australia; low back pain; musculoskeletal disorders; psychosocial; risk factors; work stress
ISSN: 1751-0813
Date Deposited: 05 May 2010 06:31
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 8
Downloads: Total: 2
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