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Role of Ergonomic Improvements in Decreasing Repetitive Stress Injuries and Promoting Well-Being in a Radiology Department

Published:December 22, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acra.2021.11.009

      Rationale and Objectives

      To determine if ergonomic improvements in a radiology department can decrease repetitive stress injuries (RSIs), advance ergonomics knowledge, and improve well-being.

      Materials and Methods

      Radiologists in an academic institution were surveyed regarding physician wellness, workstations, RSIs, and ergonomics knowledge before and after interventions over 1 year. Interventions included committee formation, education, wrist pads and wireless mice, broken table and chair replacement, and cord organization. Mann-Whitney U test was used for analysis.

      Results

      Survey response was 40% preinterventions (59/147), and 42% (66/157) postinterventions. Preinterventions, of radiologists with RSI history, 17/40 (42%) reported the RSI caused symptoms which can lead to burnout, and 15/40 (37%) responded their RSI made them think about leaving their job. Twenty-three of 59 (39%) radiologists had an active RSI preinterventions. Postinterventions, 9/25 (36%) RSI resolved, 13/25 (52%) RSI improved, and 3/25 (12%) RSI did not improve. RSI improvements were attributed to ergonomic interventions in 19/25 (76%) and therapy in 2/25 (8%). Radiologists who thought their workstation was designed with well-being in mind increased from 9/59 (15%) to 52/64 (81%). The percentage of radiologists knowing little or nothing about ergonomics decreased from 15/59 (25%) to 5/64 (8%). After ergonomics interventions, more radiologists thought the administration cared about safety and ergonomics, equipment was distributed fairly, and radiologists had the ability to ask for equipment (p < .01). Fifty-three of 64 (83%) of radiologists after interventions said improving workstation ergonomic design contributed to well-being.

      Conclusion

      Ergonomic improvements in radiology can decrease RSIs, advance ergonomics knowledge, and improve well-being.

      Key Words

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