Observational Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2022. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastrointest Endosc. Mar 16, 2022; 14(3): 142-152
Published online Mar 16, 2022. doi: 10.4253/wjge.v14.i3.142
Ergonomics of gastrointestinal endoscopies: Musculoskeletal injury among endoscopy physicians, nurses, and technicians
Samana Zainab Shah, Syed Tabish Rehman, Aysha Khan, Muhammad Muneeb Hussain, Mohsin Ali, Sonaila Sarwar, Shahab Abid
Samana Zainab Shah, Syed Tabish Rehman, Muhammad Muneeb Hussain, Mohsin Ali, Sonaila Sarwar, Shahab Abid, Department of Medicine, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi 74800, Sindh, Pakistan
Aysha Khan, Department of Internal Medicine, Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, MA 01199, United States
Author contributions: Shah SZ designed the study and methodology for the study and contributed to the finalized article writing; Abid S conceptualized the idea, edited and revised the manuscript and oversaw the entire project; Rehman ST and Hussain MM contributed to initial and finalized article writing and analysis alongside literature search; Ali M, Khan A and Sarwar S contributed in data collection and analysis.
Institutional review board statement: The study was reviewed and approved by the Ethics Review Committees (ERC) at the Aga Khan University (Karachi, Pakistan).
Informed consent statement: All study participants provided informed written consent prior to study enrollment.
Conflict-of-interest statement: There are no conflicts of interest to report.
Data sharing statement: No additional data are available.
STROBE statement: The authors have read the STROBE Statement-checklist of items, and the manuscript was prepared and revised according to the STROBE Statement-checklist of items.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: https://creativecommons.org/Licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Corresponding author: Shahab Abid, MBBS, PhD, Professor, Department of Medicine, Aga Khan University Hospital, Stadium Road, P O Box 3500 , Karachi 74800, Sindh, Pakistan. shahab.abid@aku.edu
Received: April 21, 2021
Peer-review started: April 21, 2021
First decision: June 25, 2021
Revised: July 17, 2021
Accepted: February 11, 2022
Article in press: February 11, 2022
Published online: March 16, 2022
Research background

Ergonomics in the field of gastroenterology with regards to musculoskeletal injuries (MSI) among endoscopists and ancillary staff have been highlighted in studies from the western world. MSI affect the quality and longevity of the gastroenterologist, which can lead to a shortage of specialists. There has been a dearth of literature on the topic from our region.

Research motivation

The goal of this research was to create awareness about the importance of ergonomics in endoscopy that may prevent future injuries. Research would lead towards the modification and development of more ergonomic endoscopes and techniques. Furthermore, procedure rooms and spaces with institutional emphasis would promote strategies for the management of musculoskeletal injury.

Research objectives

Our objective is to document the prevalence of MSI, awareness, and practice of ergonomics by endoscopists, ancillary staff, and institutions.

Research methods

An observational cross-sectional study in Karachi. An eleven-point self-administered questionnaire was distributed and used to evaluate MSI and ergonomic adjustments amongst three tertiary care setups in Karachi. An onsite survey via a 13-point checklist for endoscopy suite facilities was used to assess the ergonomically friendly conveniences at five tertiary care setups.

Research results

There were 56 participants in total with 39 (69.6%) males. Pain and numbness were documented by 75% of the respondents, with the neck (41.1%) and lower back (32.1%) being the most commonly affected regions. Twenty one point four percent had to take time off their work, while 33.9% took medications for pain. Ergonomic modifications to prevent musculoskeletal injury were used by 21.4%. Institutions lacked sufficient ergonomic facilities.

Research conclusions

Three-fourth of our endoscopists reported MSI, of which more than half are not sure or attributed this problem to endoscopy. The prevalence of MSI warrants urgent attention.

Research perspectives

It would be interesting to see interventions to improve the ergonomics among participants, such as pre- and post-intervention improvement and the impact of creating awareness. Research can be directed towards the development of curriculum and guidelines addressing ergonomics and modifications to prevent MSI.