Prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders in Germany - a comparison between dentists and dental assistants

  • Background: dental professionals suffer frequently from musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). Dentists and dental assistants work closely with each other in a mutually dependent relationship. To date, MSD in dental assistants have only been marginally investigated and compared to their occurrence in dentists. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare the prevalence of MSD between dentists and dental assistants by considering occupational factors, physical activity and gender. Methods: This was a cross-sectional observational study. A Germany-wide survey, using a modified version of the Nordic Questionnaire and work-related questions, was applied. In total, 2548 participants took part, of which 389 dentists (240 females and 149 males) and 322 dental assistants (320 females and 2 males) were included in the analysis. Data were collected between May 2018 and May 2019. Differences between the dentists and dental assistants were determined by using the Chi2 test for nominal and the Wilcoxon–Mann–Whitney U test for both ordinal and non-normally distributed metric data. Results: A greater number of dental assistants reported complaints than dentists in all queried body regions. Significant differences in the most affected body regions (neck, shoulders, wrist/hands, upper back, lower back and feet/ankles) were found for the lifetime prevalence, annual prevalence and weekly prevalence. Data from the occupational factors, physical activity and gender analyses revealed significant differences between dentists and dental assistants. Conclusions: Dental assistants appear to be particularly affected by MSD when compared to dentists. This circumstance can be explained only to a limited extent by differences in gender distribution and occupational habits between the occupations.

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Author:Fabian Christian HolzgreveORCiDGND, Yvonne Haas, Antonia Naser, Jasmin HänelORCiD, Laura FräulinORCiDGND, Christina ErbeORCiDGND, Werner BetzORCiDGND, Eileen M. WankeORCiDGND, Dörthe BrüggmannORCiDGND, Albert NienhausORCiDGND, Jan David Alexander GronebergORCiDGND, Daniela Maren OhlendorfORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Applied Sciences
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/07/28
Date of first Publication:2021/07/28
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/08/18
Tag:MSD; dental assistants; dentists; gender; occupational factors; physical activity; prevalence
Issue:15, art. 6956
Page Number:10
First Page:1
Last Page:10
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0