2007 Volume 45 Issue 5 Pages 637-644
This review targeted all research previously conducted on the topic of musculoskeletal disorders among Italian nursing personnel, with a particular focus on studies that had examined individual, physical and psychosocial risk factors. Scientific literature published in both English and Italian languages was searched using electronic and manual techniques. A total of 25 appropriate studies were located and examined, most of which had focused on the prevalence of low back pain (LBP) among nurses. From the review, it was shown that LBP prevalence rates have varied widely among different investigations conducted in Italy, ranging from 33% to 86%. Previous studies also suggest that female gender, physical factors and psychosocial factors are important LBP risk factors in this country. Since most of the data currently available describes nurses working in the northern and central regions only, further investigations should now be undertaken in southern Italy, in order to obtain a more complete overview of the problem from a national perspective. Furthermore, a standardized method for measuring these conditions is strongly recommended for future Italian research, to allow better local and international comparison of the data.