Radiographers' musculoskeletal health in Western Switzerland: WRMSDs symptoms prevalence and risk factors

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BACKGROUND: Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs) are a significant occupational health concern in radiographers.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to describe radiographers' WRMSDs symptoms prevalence and severity, exploring associations with occupational risk factors.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted to explore WRMSDs symptoms and occupational risk factors in radiographers of Western Switzerland using an online survey, based on the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ). Descriptive statistics were conducted to analyze the collected data, and associative statistics to identify the risk factors related to symptoms.

RESULTS: Participants (n = 359) presented a high prevalence of WRMSDs symptoms in the last 12 months (94.7% % ), with a related absenteeism rate of 15.6% . In the last 7 days, symptoms prevalence was 67.7% . The most affected anatomical regions, over both time periods, were the neck (73.0%, 36.8%) and lower back (67.4%, 35.7% ). Associative statistics underlined risk factors affecting significantly radiographers' health (OR >2) were the "awkward postures" (OR = 2.86; 95% CI 1.78-4.58) and "feeling anxiety/stress at work" both for lower back (OR = 2.38; 95% CI 1.39-4.08), and being a woman for the neck (OR = 2.64; 95% CI 1.51-4.61).

CONCLUSIONS: There is a high WRMSDs symptoms prevalence in Western Switzerland radiographers. Radiographers' work demands namely for awkward postures increases the odds for WRMSDs symptoms presence, affecting predominantly neck, upper and lower back. Our data suggest that is necessary to better understand WRMSDs in radiographers to be possible the prevention adapted to this specific context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1527-1537
JournalWORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation
Issue number4
Early online date28 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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