TitleCommercially Available Friction-Reducing Patient-Transfer Devices Reduce Biomechanical Stresses on Caregivers' Upper Extremities and Low Back.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsHwang, J, Kuppam, VAneesh, Chodraju, SSuryanaray, Chen, J, Kim, JH
JournalHum Factors
Date Published02/2019

OBJECTIVE:: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of commercially available friction-reducing patient-transfer devices in reducing biomechanical stresses on caregivers and patients.

BACKGROUND:: Caregivers suffer from high prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, which is associated with manual patient handling. However, there is not enough information available on the efficacy of various friction-reducing devices in reducing biomechanical stresses in the upper extremities and low back.

METHOD:: During patient-transfer tasks performed by 20 caregivers, we measured hand force; shoulder and trunk posture; shoulder moment; muscle activity in the flexor digitorum superficialis, extensor digitorum communis, biceps, triceps, trapezius, and erector spinae; and usability ratings from four devices: a draw sheet, a repositioning sheet, a slide board, and an air-assisted device. In addition, triaxial head acceleration of mock patients was measured to evaluate patients' head acceleration.

RESULTS:: The slide board and air-assisted device significantly reduced hand force ( p < .001), shoulder flexion ( p < .001), shoulder moment ( p < .001), muscle activities of caregivers ( p < .004), and patients' head acceleration ( p < .023) compared with the draw sheet. However, no significant differences in biomechanical measures were found between the repositioning and draw sheets. The air-assisted device consistently showed the lowest biomechanical stresses and was most preferred by participants.

CONCLUSION:: Reduction in caregivers' biomechanical stresses and mock patients' head acceleration indicates that a slide board and an air-assisted device can be effective engineering controls to reduce risk of injury.

APPLICATION:: The study results can provide a recommendation for engineering controls to reduce biomechanical stresses for both caregivers and patients.

Alternate JournalHum Factors
PubMed ID30794442