We investigated the epidemiology of musculoskeletal symptoms (MSS) among a complete cross-section of 330 nurses from a large Korean hospital, by means of a questionnaire survey (response rate: 97.9%). The prevalence of MSS at any body site was 93.6%, with symptoms most commonly reported at the shoulder (74.5%), lower back (72.4%), neck (62.7%), lower legs (52.1%) and hand/wrist (46.7%). Logistic regression indicated that nurses who undertook manual handling of patients were 7.2 times as likely to report MSS (OR 7.2, 95%CI 1.2–42.3, P = .0275), while nurses suffering from periodic depression experienced a 3.3-fold MSS risk (OR 3.3, 95%CI 1.3–8.3, P = .0104). Overall, our study suggests that Korean nurses incur a very high MSS burden when compared internationally. A greater commitment is needed to improve physical conditions, occupational tasks and psychosocial work issues among nurses in this country.
International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics Vol. 11, Issue 4, p. 431 - 440