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Effective interventions for preventing work related physical health complaints in nursing students and novice nurses: a systematic review

Publication of Innovations in Care

P.D.D.M. Roelofs, H.S. Miedema, J.H.A.M. Kox, J. Runhaar, E.J.M. Bakker, S.M.A. Bierma-Zeinstra | Article | Publication date: 18 March 2020
From the start of their career, nursing students and novice nurses are at risk of developing physical health problems due to high physical workload, which may lead to early exit from nursing. To provide an overview of interventions preventing physical health problems in early career, a systematic review was performed. A comprehensive search of the literature was conducted up to December 2017. Primary outcome of interest was education/work dropout. Secondary outcomes were musculoskeletal symptoms. Independent authors selected studies, appraised quality and extracted data. After screening 7111 titles and abstracts, eleven studies were included. Seven studies evaluated interventions for moving/handling training. Four evaluated other interventions. None focused on our primary outcome education/work dropout. All studies reported on physical complaints among student nurses only. Overall, risk of bias was high and clinical heterogeneity prohibited pooling of data. Intervention effects were small and inconsistent. In conclusion, evidence for the effectiveness of interventions in the nursing curricula for the prevention/treatment of physical complaints is scarce and where available conflicting. We recommend high quality research on dropout due to physical health problems, as well as on the prevention/treatment of physical complaints.

Author(s) - affiliated with Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences

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