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Prevalence of musculoskeletal problems among veterinarians in relation to their job

A. Kozak, G. Schedlbauer, C. Peters, A. Nienhaus

VETERINARY work could pose an elevated risk of certain injuries and conditions. The aim of this study was to assess the self-reported prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders in the upper extremities and neck among veterinarians practising in Germany.

A survey was conducted of members of the German Federal Veterinary Council. The presence and severity of musculoskeletal disorders and work-related injuries were assessed. The types of physical work undertaken and job demands of the respondents were also recorded.

The responses of 3051 veterinarians were included in the final analysis. The largest category of practitioner was small animal (49 per cent) and the proportion of women working in this field was significantly higher (75 per cent) than in mixed and large animal practices; therefore the everyday tasks performed varied by gender.

In total, 67 per cent of respondents had experienced some kind of musculoskeletal disorder in the neck, 61 per cent in the shoulder, 25 per cent in the elbow and 35 per cent in the hand/wrist. Female veterinarians were significantly more likely to report neck problems compared with their male colleagues, who …

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