Perceived Adverse Occupational Health Effects in Hospital Personnel: An Exploration of the Effects of the Workplace Environment
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Background: The aims of the analysis were to describe the prevalence and types of adverse effects on occupational health of hospital personnel, and to examine their relationship to the hospital working environment. Methods: Data were analyzed from a 2002 pilot project "Taiwan Hospital Health Promotion Program: A Medical Center Initiative". The study sample consisted of 649 hospital personnel (response rate of 81.3%) in Taipei. The effects of three different health-affecting aspects of the working environment-physical environment, exposure to chemical agents, and usage of protective devices-were used as predictive variables for the perception of adverse health effects in hospital personnel. Results: 73.1% of hospital personnel reported adverse occupational health effects within one year. The main types of discomfort reported were (prevalence): neck/upper shoulder pain (39.9%), fatigue (38.9%), lower back pain (27.7%), headache (26.9%), eye discomfort (24.9%), throat irritation (22.3%), wrist discomfort (19.3%), nose discomfort (18.1%), and varicose veins (10.9%). A multiple logical regression model indicated that those personnel who perceived that they were exposed to health-affecting physical environments were more likely to perceive adverse health effects (OR = 3.11, 95% CI = 2.01-4.82) than those who did not consider that they were exposed to such physical environments. Conclusions: The hospital should adjust the provisional health and safety programs and strategies to the specific context and conditions of the physical environment of the hospital to improve the health and well-being of hospital personnel.
Journal of Medical Science
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