Dermatological and musculoskeletal disorders of nursing home workers in Australia, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan

PhD Thesis


Smith, Derek Richard. 2003. Dermatological and musculoskeletal disorders of nursing home workers in Australia, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland.
Title

Dermatological and musculoskeletal disorders of nursing home workers in Australia, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorSmith, Derek Richard
SupervisorAtkinson, Ron
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages227
Year2003
Abstract

Although skin disease and musculoskeletal disorders are believed to be common among nursing home workers, to date there have been no coordinated international studies of these occupational issues. Therefore, it was considered appropriate to conduct one of the first cross-cultural investigations of occupational dermatology and ergonomic complaints among nursing home workers in Australia, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan using a standardised methodology. This thesis documents a 4-year investigation of skin disease and musculoskeletal disorders conducted among 465 nursing home staff in Australia, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Skin diseases were diagnosed by specialist physicians during medical examinations, while information on musculoskeletal disorders was collected by means of a self-reported questionnaire. There were major differences in both the location and type of skin disease between the 4 groups. Overall, the Australian group suffered a generally higher prevalence of skin disease than in the other three countries investigated, most likely due to their significantly higher rate of sun-induced skin damage. The high prevalence of cutaneous fungal disease seen within the Taiwanese subjects most probably arose from the comparatively higher temperature and relative humidity of Taiwan. Other potentially important skin disease risk factors included previous skin disease and a history of allergy, both of which are consistent with current knowledge. Although musculoskeletal disorders were found to be most prevalent among the Japanese nursing home staff at almost all body sites, the reasons for this are not clear. It may have related to a generally higher musculoskeletal rate, or a higher degree of self-reporting on their questionnaires. Individual MSD risk factors included moving patients, washing patients, working as an assistant nurse and daily alcohol consumption. Interestingly, MSD was found to be a co-factor for current skin disease. Overall, this study indicated that certain occupational health issues consistently affect nursing home staff in the 4 countries, but the prevalence and rank order varies from nation to nation. It was also shown that nursing home work incurs a reasonable degree of risk and that skin disease and musculoskeletal disorders are important occupational issues within these facilities.

Keywordsdermatology, musculoskeletal disorder, nursing, skin, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, disease, occupational health issue
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420502. Aged care nursing
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