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The incidence and distribution of musculoskeletal disorders in final‐year Australian sonography students on clinical placement
journal contributionposted on 12.03.2020, 00:00 by D Bowles, Ann Quinton
Introduction: Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSD) are defined as injury or pain resulting from work and are common in qualified sonographers, affecting the shoulder, neck, wrist, and hands. Risk factors include poor ergonomics, work flow, inadequate breaks, and psychological stress. WRMSD carries a significant financial and emotional cost to industry. The incidence of WRMSD in Australian trainee sonographers is unknown. The aim of this research is to identify the incidence and distribution of WRMSD in trainee sonographers. Method: This is a prospective observational study. An anonymous online survey was distributed to final-year medical sonography students, and participation was voluntary and based on self-selection. Results: There were 35/86 respondents, a 40.7% response rate. The incidence of WRMSD was 97%. Age, body mass index, height, gender, time spent scanning/day, and number of scans performed/day were not found to be associated with the development of WRMSD. The scanning shoulder, wrist, neck, and back were most commonly affected. Conclusion: WRMSD incidence and distribution in Australian trainees are similar to that of qualified sonographers. It is therefore important to begin preventative measures early on in sonographer training to help minimise WRMSD developing.