Dimitra PaggouKapodistrian University of Athens , Greece
Title: Weather impact on spinal pain and working productivity among healthcare workers
INTRODUCTION: Musculoskeletal pain and strain are common problems of the spine among healthcare workers.
OBJECTIVE: To study weather effect on neck and low back pain and work productivity among heathcare workers.
METHODS: The sample included 60 out of 85 employees (doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, laboratory technicians) in a healthcare center, who give their consent to participate in this study. All participants lived and worked in Piraeus, a costal urban region in Greece. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to record perceived weather sensitivity/susceptibility, demographics, working parameters (staff categories, typical work tasks), neck and low back pain. Local weather data (environmental temperature, humidity, weather changes) were daily obtained from the National meteorological service. Correlations were made between perceived weather sensitivity, weather, clinical and demographic variables.
RESULTS: Perceived weather sensitivity/susceptibility were mentioned by 20/28 (71.40%) and by 24/35 (58.30%) healthcare workers with neck and low back pain, respectively. Association was found between perceived weather sensitivity and heavy nurse and nurse assistant tasks (p=0.02), and pain in the neck (p=0.03) or the low back (p=0.02). Weather sensitivity showed a statistically significant relation to chronic neck and low back pain (p<0.05). Humidity and weather changes were the main weather conditions that were significant associated with low back pain, and with difficulties in performing patient hadling and load lifting tasks. Weather changes were also related to neck pain. Cold was significant correlated to nurse staff weather sensitivity (p<0.05). No significant correlation were found between weather conditions and other working or demographic variables
CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate that healthcare workers in a coastal region are sensitive to humidity and weather changes, that aggravate their spinal pain and alter their working productivity.
Dimitra Paggou has completed her PhD in Parkinson’s disease, at the age of 47 years from Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. She is Physiotherapist, working in a Health Care Center in Athens. She was laboratory teaching staff at Physiotherapy Department of Athens. She is specialized in Neurological, Neuromuscular and Rheumatoid Diseases in T.A.Y.S University Hospital of Tampere, Finland. She is also expert in Orthopedic, Neurofascial & Neural Mobilization of Spine & Extremities and in Maitland Manual Therapy at North Middlesex Hospital, UK. She has further trained in Musculoskeletal Ultrasonography. She obtained a Master degree in “Metabolic bone diseases” from Medical School of Athens and a Master degree in “Health Management and Promotion” from Public Health School of Athens. She has 35 publications. Vanna Pandi-Agathokli has completed her PhD at the age of 36 years old from Metsovion University of Athens, Greece. She has studied chemistry at the Universities of Berlin and Eastburg. She used to work as a researcher at the Hellenic National Institute for Research. She has over 100 publications concerning pollution and environment.