Work-related musculoskeletal injuries amongst obstetrics
and gynaecology trainees in East Midland region of the UK
Kubra Arslan Okuyucu
Received: 23 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published online: 12 July 2017
Ó The Author(s) 2017. This article is an open access publication
Purpose Work-related musculoskeletal injuries (WRMSI)
have been well known amongst obstetrics and gynaecology
(O&G) practitioners, but limited data have been reported.
Our aim is to determine the prevalence, severity and
characteristics of WRMSI amongst O&G trainees.
Methods A musculoskeletal ergonomic survey was con-
ducted amongst the O&G trainees in the East-Midlands
region of United Kingdom (UK). The survey comprised of
demographic details, year of training, previous manual
handling training, any work-related orthopaedic injury, the
type of injury, any treatment received in addition to any
sick leave incurred after the injury were also documented.
Results The response rate for the survey was 76% (59/78).
The majority (22%) were senior specialist trainee, seventh
year (ST7) and between 30 and 34 age groups. Approxi-
mately 90% of the trainees reported to have experienced
pain in the last year. The most common site was the back,
which was followed by the shoulders and the upper limbs.
63% of trainees reported injuries that were attributed to
WRMSI. One in ten of the trainees needed time off work
due to injury. A total of 20 days were lost in the last
12 months as a result of pain or discomfort attributed to
Conclusions Our results demonstrate the prevalence of
work-related injuries and its detrimental effects. Such
injuries are underreported on incident reporting system.
Ergonomics and WRMSI prevention in obstetrics and
gynaecology is an area seldom discussed. Obstetric training
sessions should incorporate ergonomic interventions. Fur-
ther research is required to establish relevant aetiological
factors related to WRMSI in this specialty.
Keywords Work-related musculoskeletal injuries Á
Obstetrics Á Gynaecology Á Trainees
Musculoskeletal injuries (MSI) are common problems
experienced by a majority of people from various occu-
pational groups, and approximately half of the occupational
injuries reported in many countries are musculoskeletal
related ones . According to the deﬁnition recognised by
the World Health Organisation , work-related disorders
are problems ‘‘associated with certain exposures at work,
including physical and mental work-load, adverse psy-
chosocial factors, workers’ habits and life-style, individual
susceptibility, in some instance, combined occupational
and environmental exposures’’.
Force, which can also be called load, is required for any
motion. Although there are many types of force affecting
the biomechanical structure of body motion , they are
mainly classiﬁed as internal and external forces that pro-
vide optimum movements to a human body . From an
ergonomics perspective, a biomechanical imbalance
develops when the internal force requires greater than the
capacity of person attempt to it . This imbalance has a
high chance of resulting in an injury. The aim of the
application of ergonomics is to design the working task,
system and equipment to ﬁt the person; rather than to adapt
the person to working situation .
It is obvious that these kinds of problems affect quality
of life as well as productivity at work places. Furthermore,
& Kubra Arslan Okuyucu
Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom
University Hospitals of Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom
Arch Gynecol Obstet (2017) 296:489–494