Measurement of Action Forces and Posture to Determine the Lumbar Load of Healthcare Workers During Care Activities with Patient Transfers

Moving patients or other care activities with manual patient handling is
characterized by high mechanical load on the lumbar spine of healthcare workers
(HCWs). During the patient transfer activity, the caregivers exert lifting,
pulling, and pushing forces varying over time with respect to amplitude and
direction. Furthermore, the caregivers distinctly change their posture and
frequently obtain postures asymmetrical to the median sagittal plane, including
lateral bending and turning the trunk. This paper describes a procedure to
determine lumbar load during patient transfer supported by measurement
techniques and an exemplary application; this methodology represents the basis
of a complex research project, the third Dortmund Lumbar Load Study (DOLLY 3).
Lumbar load was determined by simulation calculations using a comprehensive
biomechanical model (The Dortmunder). As the main influencing factors, the hand
forces of the caregiver exerted during typical patient transfers and the
posture and movements of the HCW were recorded in laboratory studies. The
action forces were determined three-dimensionally with the help of a newly
developed measuring bed, two different measuring chairs, a measuring bathtub,
and a measuring floor. To capture the forces during transfers in or at the bed,
a common hospital bed was equipped with an additional framework, which is
attached to the bedstead and connected to the bedspring frame via three-axial
force sensors at the four corners. The other measuring systems were constructed
similarly. Body movements were recorded using three-dimensional optoelectronic
recording tools and video recordings. The posture and force data served as
input data for the quantification of various lumbar-load indicators.

More info - Source: Annals of Occupational Hygiene