Endoscopists should be provided with brief breaks and more ergonomic workspaces to reduce their risk for injury related to performing procedures, results of a recent survey suggest .
The survey, sent to nearly 10,600 physician members of the American Gastroenterological Association, found that musculoskeletal injuries are common among endoscopists, with 85% of both women and men reporting such problems since they began scoping. Women were more likely to experience injuries to the upper body, particularly the shoulders, upper back and right arm (Table).
|Table. Musculoskeletal Injuries Reported by Members of the American Gastroenterological Association|
|Type of Injury||All||Women||Men||P Value
(Women vs. Men)
|Overall, before practicing endoscopy||45.5%||45.9%||45.3%||0.87|
|Overall, after practicing endoscopy||85.6%||85.4%||85.6%||0.93|
|Areas of Injury After Practicing Endoscopy|
The researchers recommend more ergonomics training for fellows and practicing gastroenterologists, and they advise clinicians to take short breaks of one to three minutes at least once an hour to avoid muscle fatigue. Fewer than 14% of clinicians surveyed reported taking such breaks.
In an unrelated survey of 114 GI fellows, nearly half (49%) said they experienced a new musculoskeletal injury since beginning their training (Figure). Almost 85% blamed the injury on endoscopy. Nearly three-fourths of those who reported an injury said it occurred in the first year of their program, and roughly 73% said they sustained multiple injuries.
Figure. Timing of first musculoskeletal injury after starting to perform endoscopy.
Although the vast majority of fellows said they would like to receive ergonomics training, only about 25% said they had received such instruction during their program.