Objectives Home health aides (HHAs) work in a high-risk industry and experience high rates of work-related injury that have been significantly associated with reduction in workers and organisational productivity, quality and performance. The main objective of the study was to examine how worker environment and ergonomic factors affect HHA risk for reporting occupational injuries.
Method We used cross-sectional analysis of data from the 2007 National Home Health and Hospice Aide Survey (NHHAS). The study sample consisted of a nationally represented sample of home health aides (n=3.377) with a 76.6% response rate. We used two scales1: a Work Environment Scale and2 an Ergonomic Scale. Univariate and bivariate analyses were conducted to describe HHA work-related injury across individual, job and organisational factors. To measure scale reliability, Cronbach’s alphas were calculated. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine predictors of reported occupational injury.
Results In terms of Work Environment Scale, the injury risk was decreased in HHAs who did not consistently care for the same patients (OR=0.96, 95% CI: 0.53 to 1.73). In terms of Ergonomic Scale, the injury risk was decreased only in HHAs who reported not needing any other devices for job safety (OR=0.30, 95% (CI): 0.15 to 0.61). No other Work Environment or Ergonomic Scale factors were associated with HHAs’ risk of injury.
Conclusion This study has great implications on a subcategory of the workforce that has a limited amount of published work and studies, as of today, as well as an anticipated large demand for them.
- Occupational Injury
- Environmental Modification
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Contributors HH developed the study idea, acquired and analysed the data and wrote the first draft. MMK and CP provided statistical expertise and verified the accuracy of the used techniques. JP and JB led the critical review and revision of manuscript.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.