Published online Mar 16, 2022. doi: 10.4253/wjge.v14.i3.142
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
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.
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.
Our objective is to document the prevalence of MSI, awareness, and practice of ergonomics by endoscopists, ancillary staff, and institutions.
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.
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.
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.
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.