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

Smith, Derek Richard (2003) Dermatological and musculoskeletal disorders of nursing home workers in Australia, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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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.

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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis. Transferred from ADT 30/11/2006.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Nursing
Supervisors: Atkinson, Ron
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:46
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:38
Uncontrolled Keywords: dermatology, musculoskeletal disorder, nursing, skin, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, disease, occupational health issue
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1110 Nursing > 111001 Aged Care Nursing

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