Irtyah Merchaoui, Lamia Bouzgarrou, Charfeddine Amri, Mohamed Akrout, Jacques Malchaire, Sana El Mhamdi and Neila Chaari Pages 54 - 60 ( 7 )
Background: Grip muscle force has always been used to assess functional limitations in elderly. Its use as a tool to assess work capacity has never been described in the literature.
Objective: To describe the patent determinants of grip strength and the usefulness of its measurement in assessing workability index in the healthcare sector.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional study conducted in a sample of 293 healthcare workers representative of 1181 based on a comprehensive questionnaire about socio-professional characteristics and on an 8-item work capacity evaluation (WAI). Besides, Body mass index was measured and muscle strength was assessed by JAMAR hydraulic dynamometer.
Results: Handgrip Strength was stronger in male nurses (p < 0.001), with low perceived physical load (p = 0.0001) and working on a night shift (p = 0.001). It decreased with a greater duration of household work (p < 0.0001) and increased with a greater BMI (p = 0.015) and a better workability index (p < 0.0001). After removal of all the variables that were not independently associated with the muscle strength force, factors accounting for 52.6% of the variance in nurses handgrip strength were gender (p < 0.001), workability index (p < 0.001), duration of household work (p = 0.021), BMI (p = 0.002), perceived physical load (p < 0.001) and work schedule (p = 0.002).
Conclusion: Grip Strength Test is a useful tool to assess strength and functional capacity at work in healthcare workers. Further longitudinal studies are required to confirm this hypothesis.
Dynamometer, ergonomics, grip strength, health occupations, nurses, premature aging, work capacity evaluation.
School of Medicine, Occupational Health & Ergonomics Department, University of Monastir, 5019- Monastir-Tunisia.