Evaluation of musculoskeletal symptoms among physicians performing ultrasound

Paweł Wareluk, Wiesław Jakubowski

Affiliation and address for correspondence
J Ultrason 2017; 17: 154–159
DOI: 10.15557/JoU.2017.0023

Aim of the study: Owing to its wide availability, relatively low cost and lack of negative effect on the patient, ultrasound has become the most commonly and readily used imaging modality. However, scanning for increasingly long periods of time on a given day and in a given week tends to negatively affect sonographers’ health, primarily resulting with the overuse of the musculoskeletal system, as multiple muscles and joints are engaged during scanning. This research has been aimed at evaluating the prevalence and type of musculoskeletal symptoms among diagnostic medical sonographers, as well as identifying their professional profile. Material and method: The study covered 553 sonographers who responded to an online survey comprising 27 questions, including branching questions allowing to provide more detailed information depending on the answers given, as well as open questions. The survey was geared towards identifying the type and frequency of the experienced symptoms, and determining additional contributing factors. Results: 83% of the respondents have experienced work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSD). The study presents the detailed characteristics of the symptoms experienced by sonographers in their work, and their professional profile. Conclusions: A majority of physicians performing ultrasound experience musculoskeletal pain. Deeper analysis of the underlying causes and potential correlations with given contributing factors (variables) that could be effectively addressed may facilitate introduction of some preventive measures and occupational hygiene rules in the field of ultrasound diagnostics, as well as help to implement interventions aimed at relieving the experienced symptoms and improving the health of the examining specialists.

ultrasound, ergonomics, work-related disorders