The role of ergonomic and psychosocial workplace factors in the reporting of back injuries among U.S. home health aides

Anna Arlinghaus, Alberto J. Caban-Martinez, Miguel Marino, Silje Endresen Reme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Background: Due to the aging population and a shift to patient home care, home health aides (HHAs) are a fast-growing occupation. Since little is known about workplace risk factors for back injuries among HHAs, we examined the role of ergonomic and psychosocial factors in injury reporting among HHAs. Methods: We used the 2007 U.S. National Home Health Aide Survey data (weighted n=160,720) to predict the risk of back injuries by use of/need for ergonomic equipment and supervisor support with logistic regression, adjusted for socio-demographic variables. Results: The annual prevalence of back injuries for U.S. HHAs was 5.2%. Injury risk was increased in HHAs reporting the need of additional ergonomic equipment in patient homes, and marginally associated with low reported supervisor support. Conclusions: Improvement of workplace ergonomic and psychosocial factors could be targeted as a strategy to decrease work-related injuries in HHAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1239-1244
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013



  • Epidemiology
  • Home health aides
  • Injury
  • Occupational health
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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