Background: Little is known about the physical and psychosocial work environment of chiropractors and their work-related health complaints, and this has never been described for Danish chiropractors. The aim of this study was, therefore, to describe work-related acute physical injuries, overuse complaints, and psychosocial stress in Danish chiropractic work settings.
Methods: We developed a questionnaire specifically for this study and distributed it electronically in August 2016 using SurveyXact to all 575 members of the Danish Chiropractors’ Association working in primary care clinics. Chiropractors were asked about their work-related acute physical injuries and overuse complaints as well as any psychosocial stress they experienced at work during the previous year. We described our sample and variables using means, medians, ranges, and confidence intervals where appropriate. Statistically significant differences between genders, types of complaints and injuries, and between clinic owners and associates were examined using Chi-square and Fischer’s exact tests, where appropriate, or by examining confidence intervals for non-overlap.
Results: 355 (65.2%) chiropractors answered the survey. Of these, 216 (61%, 95% CI 56–66) had experienced a work-related acute physical injury and/or overuse complaint during the previous year. Work-related overuse complaints were most commonly reported in the low back, wrist, thumb, and shoulder, and were more common among women (63%, 95% CI 56–70) than men (51%, 95% CI 43–59). Chiropractors with more than five years in practice (59%, 95% CI 52–64) reported significantly fewer work-related acute injuries and overuse complaints during the previous year compared with chiropractors with less than five years in practice (83%, 95% CI 73–91). In general, these practicing Danish chiropractors reported having a good psychosocial work environment, and 90% of chiropractors “always” or “often” felt that they were motivated and committed to their work.
Conclusion: This sample of Danish practicing chiropractors commonly reported work-related acute physical injuries or overuse complaints. Overuse complaints were most commonly reported in the low back, wrist, thumb, and shoulder and were more common among women than men. Newly educated chiropractors reported more overuse complaints than experienced chiropractors. Collectively, this sample of Danish chiropractors reported that they had a good psychosocial work environment.
Author keywords: Chiropractic – Work-related – Injuries – Psychosocial – Stress – Overuse – Complaints
Author affiliations: MCH, TA: Private Practice (Demmark / Ballerup); MCH, TA,JH: University of Southern Denmark. Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics (Denmark / Odense); HWC, JH: Nordic Institute of Chiropractic and Clinical Biomechanics (Denmark / Odense)
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