Saf Health Work.  2016 Dec;7(4):259-267. 10.1016/

Allied Health Professionals and Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders: A Systematic Review

  • 1Centre for Ergonomics, Safety and Health, Department of Public Health, La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia.


Work-related musculoskeletal injuries and disorders (WMSD) are a significant issue in the health care sector. Allied Health professionals (AHP) in this sector are exposed to physical and psychosocial factors associated with increased risk of developing a WMSD. Clarification of relevant hazard and risk factors for AHP is needed to improve understanding and inform WMSD risk management. A systematic analysis of the literature was undertaken to determine prevalence and risk factors for WMSD in AHP. Databases of Ovid MEDLINE, CINAHL (EBSCO), EMBASE and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews were reviewed. This quality of articles was low. Outcome measures were varied, with prevalence rates of WMSD reported from 28% to 96% over a one-year time period. The lower back was the most commonly affected body part. Relevant factors identified with the development of WMSD included inexperience in the role and area of employment. Future research needs to focus on undertaking high quality prospective studies to determine the factors associated with WMSD development in AHP.


allied health; risk factors; work-related musculoskeletal disorders
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