Objective is to clarify whether nursing assistance tools (a mat with attached handles, a pair of trousers with knee pads and a waist holding belt) prevent musculoskeletal pain, such as low back pain and upper arm pain, and depression, and improve the burden on the lower back and upper arm among staff in schools for disabled children. This study design was a non-randomized intervention trial. The subjects were 41 staff in two schools for disabled children in Japan. Nursing assistance tools were used with the intervention group to help with their nursing activities. We investigated the one-month prevalence of low back pain and the degree of burden on the lower back using a questionnaire at the baseline and at the end point 4 to 6 months later. The prevalence of low back pain did not change significantly in either group. In the intervention group, the prevalence of upper arm pain decreased from 47.6% at the baseline to 23.8% at the end point (p=0.063). The percentage of participants with a high level of burden on the lower back from excretory nursing activity decreased from 57.1% at the baseline to 33.3% at the end point (p=0.063) in the intervention group. These results suggest that nursing assistance tools may prevent upper arm pain and improve the burden on the lower back among staff in schools for disabled children; however, these tools did not significantly prevent low back pain and depression.
2008 by the Japan Society for Occupational Health