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Work-related musculoskeletal disorders among nurses and midwives at a municipal health facility in Ghana

Hosea Boakye
Bridget Numarce
Juliana O. Ameh
Ajediran I. Bello


Background: To determine the prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) among nurses and midwives, the associated job risk factors and the adopted coping strategies so as to provide baseline information in Ghana.

Design: A cross-sectional study.

Participants: One hundred and five (105) registered general nurses (RGN), 16 registered community health nurses (RCHN) and 13 registered midwives (RM) were purposively recruited for the study in Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipal (LEKMA) Hospital, in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana.

 Interventions: An adapted self-administered questionnaire was used to obtain information regarding demographics, prevalence and pattern of WMSDs, associated job risk factors and the reported coping strategies commonly employed by the participants. Point- prevalence of WMSDs, coping strategies and risk factors were summarized with percentage. The prevalence was further analyzed with regression analysis to determine its correlation with BMI, age, years of experience and type of profession at p<0.05 level of significance. 

Results: The 12-months prevalence was 79.0%, 53.8% and 18.8% for the RGN, RM, and RCHN respectively. Lifting or transferring of dependent patients 70(52.1%), inadequate training on injury prevention 63(46.5%) and working in awkward or cramped positions 53(39.6%) were the most perceived job risk factors. Forty-six (34.3%) participants commonly sought assistance from colleagues in handling heavy patients, 44(32.8%) modified their positions and 27(20.3%) modified their caring procedure as coping strategies.

Conclusion:  There was high point prevalence of self-reported WMSDs among the sampled nurses and midwives and lifting of patients was identified as the major risk factor. The findings have implication for body mechanics know-how of the nurses and midwives. 


Funding: LEKMA Hospital

Keywords: Work-related musculoskeletal disorders, coping strategies, nursing, midwifery