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|Title: ||A stage of chance approach to reducing musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) in the workplace|
|Authors: ||Whysall, Zara|
|Issue Date: ||2006|
|Publisher: ||© Zara Whysall|
|Abstract: ||With a view to improving the efficacy of MSDs interventions, this work examined
the applicability of the stage of change approach to occupational health
interventions. An initial study explored the current practices of ergonomics
consultants in tackling MSDs, and revealed that consultants' recommendations
generally focused on physical aspects of the work environment, and did not take
explicit account of employees' knowledge or attitudes. A second study evaluated
leaflets aimed at helping employers and/or employees tackle MSDs, and revealed
that leaflets generally overlooked the maintenance of risk reducing measures.
Due to the importance of maintaining risk reducing measures on an ongoing
basis, this may be a fundamental limitation to their effectiveness. Tools were
developed to assess both managerial and worker stage of change, and were
found to possess high levels of reliability.
To evaluate these tools in practice, 24 interventions aimed at reducing MSDs
were monitored within a variety of organisations. In half of these cases,
approaches were tailored according to managers' and workers' stage of change.
Significant reductions were found in self-reported musculoskeletal pain in the
upper arm, elbow, forearm, wrist, hand, lower back, and legs. No significant
differences in self-reported musculoskeletal pain were identified following
standard interventions. To gain qualitative information regarding the intervention
process, post-intervention interviews were also conducted with managers.
Interviewees identified issues relating to knowledge, attitudes, perceptions, and
behaviour change, in addition to structural factors, as the main barriers and
facilitators in the process of implementing interventions to tackle MSDs.
Both the quantitative and qualitative findings of this work are compatible with calls
for the application of the stage of change approach to the workplace. The
findings suggest that scope exists for improving the success of health and safety
interventions by tailoring approaches according to stage change. By tackling the
attitudes, beliefs, and behavioural intentions that underpin an individuals' current
stage, tailored approaches can increase the uptake, implementation, and
maintenance of risk-reducing measures.|
|Description: ||A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.|
|Appears in Collections:||PhD Theses (Design School)|
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