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Health professionals working in a hospital environment have a high prevalence of fatigue and back pain: a cross-sectional study

posted on 2019-04-10, 02:46 authored by Caroline Ribeiro Tottoli, Aline Martins de Toledo, Natasha Cyrino e Silva, Wildo Navegantes de Araújo, Renata da Nóbrega Souza, Rodrigo Luiz Carregaro

ABSTRACT This study’s objective was to employ Regulation-17 (NR-17) of Brazil’s Ministry of Labor to describe the work environment of health professionals of a public hospital, while also evaluating fatigue and estimating their risk of exposure to it, as well as the presence of musculoskeletal discomfort. This was a cross-sectional study consisting of two phases: 1) Observation of the work environment by means of the NR-17, adapted as a checklist; 2) Evaluation of discomfort and fatigue by means of questionnaires. Data were analyzed descriptively. The association between fatigue and discomfort was assessed using the chi-square test, while the Mann-Whitney test was used to compare age, service time at the institution and weekly working hours across the stratified groups (with fatigue/without fatigue, with discomfort/without discomfort). Twenty sectors were evaluated. The sector with the highest frequency of inadequacy was Pharmacy (83% inadequate items), while the Adult ICU was the most adequate (only 24% inadequate items). There was a high prevalence of discomfort, especially in the spine. Fatigue was present in more than 70% of professionals. Older individuals presented more complaints of discomfort. This study demonstrates a high frequency of ergonomic inadequacies in the hospital’s work environment, mainly in the Pharmacy and Ambulatory sectors. The high prevalence of spine discomfort and fatigue emphasizes the relevance of preventive actions in the hospital environment.