Work-Related Injury and Management Strategies Among Certified Athletic Trainers.
CONTEXT: Health care workers have high rates of musculoskeletal injuries, but many of these injuries go unreported to workers' compensation and national surveillance systems. Little is known regarding the work-related injuries of certified athletic trainers (ATs). OBJECTIVE: To determine the 12-month incidence and prevalence of work-related injuries and describe injury-reporting and -management strategies. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Population-based online survey. PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS: Of the 29 051 ATs currently certified by the Board of Certification, Inc, who "opted in" to research studies, we randomly selected 10 000. Of these, 1826 (18.3%) ATs currently working in the clinical setting were eligible and participated in the baseline survey. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): An online survey was e-mailed in May of 2012. We assessed self-reported work-related injuries in the previous 12 months and management strategies including medical care, work limitations or modifications, and time off work. Statistics (frequencies and percentages) were calculated to describe injury rates per 200 000 work hours, injury prevalence, injury characteristics, and injury-reporting and -management strategies. RESULTS: A total of 247 ATs reported 419 work-related injuries during the previous 12 months, for an incidence rate of 21.6 per 200 000 hours (95% confidence interval = 19.6, 23.7) and injury prevalence of 13.5% (95% confidence interval = 12.0%, 15.1%). The low back (26%), hand/fingers (9%), and knee (9%) were frequently affected body sites. Injuries were most often caused by bodily motion/overexertion/repetition (52%), contact with objects/equipment/persons (24%), or slips/trips/falls (15%). More than half of injured ATs (55.5%) sought medical care, 25% missed work, and most (77%) did not file a workers' compensation claim for their injury. Half of injured ATs were limited at work (n = 125), and 89% modified or changed their athletic training work as a result of the injury. CONCLUSIONS: More than half of AT work-related injuries required medical care or work limitations and were not reported for workers' compensation. Understanding how ATs care for and manage their work-related injuries is important given that few take time off work.
Kucera, KL; Lipscomb, HJ; Roos, KG; Dement, JM; Hootman, JM
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