Investigation of psychosocial factors on upper limb musculoskeletal disorders and the prevalence of its musculoskeletal disorders among nurses: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Abstract

Objective

Musculoskeletal disorders are one of the most important occupational problems especially among nurses. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders in upper limbs and its associated psychosocial factors in the workplace.

Methods

A systematic review was conducted by searching the Medline/PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, ISI/web of knowledge and Google Scholar databases. The authors classified studies into categories of psychological work stressors and musculoskeletal problems. The statistical analysis was performed using Stata software.

Results

We found 1742 articles in our initial search. After reviewing the titles, abstracts and full texts, 66 articles were finally analyzed. Psychosocial factors affecting the prevalence of upper limb musculoskeletal disorders among nurses were identified which included boring work, inadequate staffing, job demands, insufficient support, time pressure, decision latitude, job dissatisfaction, and job stress. There was a significant relationship between these factors and prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders in the wrists, shoulders, neck and shoulders, and wrists and hands.

Conclusion

Collectively, the results of this study provide strong evidence of some psychosocial factors affecting the prevalence of upper limb musculoskeletal disorders among nurses. Thus, organizational interventions to minimize these stressors may be promising in reducing one risk factor for the development of nurses’ musculoskeletal disorders. These interventions should not only consider the factors of physical ergonomics but also seek to improve the organizational aspects of the workplace.

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Abbreviations

MSDs:

Musculoskeletal disorders

PRISMA:

Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis

HDI:

Human development index

USA:

United States of America

CI:

Confidence interval

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Acknowledgements

This study was financially supported by Shiraz University of Medical Sciences (project no. 97-01-42-18191). The authors would like to thank the Research Improvement Center of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences for improving the use of English in the manuscript.

Funding

This study was financially supported by Shiraz University of Medical Sciences (project no. 97-01-42-18191).

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AC was the leader of study and edited the final manuscript. AZ gathered data for systematic review and extracted data for meta-analysis and was a major contributor in writing the manuscript. MM gathered data for systematic review and extracted data for meta-analysis and was a major contributor in writing the manuscript. SH analyzed meta-analysis data and was a major contributor in writing the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Mahdi Malakoutikhah.

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Zare, A., Choobineh, A., Hassanipour, S. et al. Investigation of psychosocial factors on upper limb musculoskeletal disorders and the prevalence of its musculoskeletal disorders among nurses: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int Arch Occup Environ Health (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00420-021-01654-6

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Keywords

  • Nurses
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Upper limbs
  • Psychosocial work stressors
  • Meta-analysis
  • Systematic review