Reducing Musculoskeletal Pains of Operating Theatre Nurses

  • Peter HoppeEmail author
  • Karl Schableger
  • Brigitte König
  • Brigitte Eichinger
  • Anna Gabriel
  • Tanja Holzmann
  • Iris Frenner
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 820)


Musculoskeletal pains top the list of the most common work-related ailments in Austria. In 2016, they were the second-leading cause for taking sick leave. The Austrian Employee Protection Strategy for 2013–2020 aims to reduce work-related health risks. The first goal of the presented monocentric, randomised, con-trolled study was to survey the intensity and regional distribution of musculoskeletal pain of operating theatre nurses. Secondly, it was to investigate the effectiveness of a combined programme consisting of awareness training and an exercise programme for reducing pain. The intervention group received a two-stage intervention, and the control group received no intervention. The first stage of the intervention was an awareness training. The second stage was a specific corrective exercise. The musculoskeletal pain was recorded with a modified version of the Nordic questionnaire at three different times. Fifty-six individuals took part in the programme. The two most common pain areas reported by all respondents were the shoulder and neck region with an average pain level of 5.62 (SD = 3.03) and the lumbar region of the spine with an average pain level of 5.54 (SD = 3.14). The awareness training led to a 4% (1.1 points) increase in the reported pain level across all pain areas compared with the control group. The pain relief programme led to a 16% (4.9 points) decrease in pain levels across all pain areas. In conclusion, a programme based on awareness training and corrective exercises can increase awareness of pain during the occupational activities of operating theatre nurses.


Awareness training Exercise Operating theatre nurses Musculoskeletal pain 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Hoppe
    • 1
    Email author
  • Karl Schableger
    • 4
  • Brigitte König
    • 2
  • Brigitte Eichinger
    • 2
    • 3
  • Anna Gabriel
    • 1
  • Tanja Holzmann
    • 1
  • Iris Frenner
    • 1
  1. 1.Bachelor Program PhysiotherapyUniversity of Applied Science for Health Professions Upper AustriaLinzAustria
  2. 2.Kepler University Hospital Med Campus IIILinzAustria
  3. 3.Department Sport and Health, City GovernmentLinzAustria
  4. 4.Department Health EconomicsThe Upper Austrian Regional Health InsuranceLinzAustria

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