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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910

Abstract

ALEXANDRE, Neusa Maria C; MORAES, Marco Antonio A de; CORREA FILHO, Heleno R  and  JORGE, Silvia Angélica. Evaluation of a program to reduce back pain in nursing personnel. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2001, vol.35, n.4, pp. 356-361. ISSN 0034-8910.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102001000400004.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of a program designed to reduce back pain in nursing aides. METHODS: Female nursing aides from a university hospital who had suffered episodes of back pain for at least six months were included in the study. Participants were randomly divided into a control group and an intervention group. The intervention program involved a set of exercises and an educational component stressing the ergonomic aspect, administered twice a week during working hours for four months. All subjects answered a structured questionnaire and the intensity of pain was assessed before and after the program using a visual analogue scale (VAS). Student's t-test or the Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test for independent samples, and Chi-square test or the Exact Fisher test for categorical analysis, were used. The McNemar test and the Wilcoxon matched pairs test were used to compare the periods before and after the program. RESULTS: There was a statistically significant decrease in the frequency of cervical pain in the last two months and in the last seven days in the intervention group. There was also a reduction in cervical pain intensity in the two periods (2 months, 7 days) and lumbar pain intensity in the last 7 days. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that a program of regular exercise with an emphasis on ergonomics can reduce musculoskeletal symptoms in nursing personnel.

Keywords : Back pain [therapy]; Occupational health program; Exercise; Nurses aides; Program evaluation; Ergonomics (environmental health); Occupational diseases [prevention and control].

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