Several studies suggest that a major factor causing acute low back pain in nursing staff is the manual handling of disabled patients. In India, especially the northern part that consists of non-metropolitan cities, most of the hospitals still lack advanced patient handling methods and techniques. Therefore, it is necessary to devise a method of assessment for testing the effectiveness of an ergonomic intervention or training for safe patient handling. A proper quantification of risk involved in manual handling is required so that the severity of injuries caused by this handling can be reduced by an ergonomic intervention, which in turn helps redesign the task of manual handling. This study aimed to develop a qualitative method of risk assessment using the AHP for manual patient handling and to evaluate the validity and reliability of the risk assessment. The method is validated using the concepts of construct validity and content validity. The reliability was estimated through stability (test-retest) and homogeneity (internal consistency). The tests for validity and reliability were conducted in 130 units of 7 small-sized hospitals. The results of the current study reveal that the method was reliable and valid for risk assessment of patient handling.
Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), patient handling, risk assessment method for hospitals, musculoskeletal disorder
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