Understanding Work-related Musculoskeletal Injuries in Rehabilitation from a Nursing Perspective

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Purpose The incidence and prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal nursing injuries is a top concern for nurses. These injuries are thought to be a dynamic interplay of multiple factors. A literature review reveals a knowledge gap in understanding context-specific patterns of nursing injuries. Design Using a cross-sectional descriptive research design, 58 rehabilitation nurses participated in this study. Methods Anonymous paper surveys were sent to all rehabilitation nursing personnel on the unit. Findings Six themes emerged: lack of time and help, patient acuity, ergonomics, body movement issues, knowledge deficit, and communication. Conclusions Nursing input is critical in understanding and reducing context-specific work-related musculoskeletal injuries. Further research that includes nursing voices is advocated. Clinical Relevance Rehabilitation nursing injuries appear to be a complex interaction of multiple determinants; therefore, multifaceted solutions using a quality improvement lens are recommended to improve the working conditions on the units.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-100
Number of pages10
JournalRehabilitation Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Safe patient handling
  • nurses
  • rehabilitation
  • work-related musculoskeletal injuries


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