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A 13-year cohort study of musculoskeletal disorders treated in an autoplant, on-site physiotherapy clinic.
J Occup Rehabil. 2007 Dec;17(4):610-22
Publication Type
Jackie Sadi
Joy C MacDermid
Bert Chesworth
Trevor Birmingham
Author Affiliation
School of Physical Therapy, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada.
J Occup Rehabil. 2007 Dec;17(4):610-22
Publication Type
Musculoskeletal Diseases - epidemiology - therapy
Occupational Diseases - epidemiology - therapy
Occupational Health
Ontario - epidemiology
Physical Therapy Modalities
Retrospective Studies
Risk factors
Time Factors
Treatment Outcome
The purpose of this study was to describe the rate and distribution of treatment visits provided in an on-site, automotive plant, physiotherapy clinic over a 13-year period.
A retrospective cohort study was conducted using data collected at an on-site physiotherapy clinic (1990-2002, 65,977 visits; n = 2,636 workers).
The average age of workers was 43 +/- 9 years; most remained at work (85%) when treated. Disorders most commonly affected the shoulder, lumbar, and cervical regions; the median number of visits for these was 7, 6, and 5, respectively. Elbow disorders occurred commonly only for work-related complaints and required a median of eight visits. Rate of utilization was higher for women, with 47% of the plant's female workers attending physiotherapy in 1 year. Women had higher rates of cervical spine (12 vs. 22%) and wrist (5 vs. 10%) disorders. The two most common causes of injury reported by workers with an industrial injury were "frank injury arising out of normal employment" (51%) and "gradual onset/no frank injury" (37%). The diagnosis most often reported by the physiotherapist after initial assessment was "strain" which was similar for both industrial (43%) and non-industrial (49%) injuries. The six main departments in this automotive plant account for 93% of all industrial injuries reported. Final Assembly accounted for the largest number and highest rate of injury, although shift variability was noted in utilization rates (13 vs. 26%), despite the same tasks, shift schedules, and demographics. Although there was no control group, the number of visits to discharge was lower than reported in the literature for off-site physical therapy; there was a large reduction in claims (441-275) following introduction of the clinic and reduced duration/costs of lost time were identified by the employer as a rationale to continue and enhance the service over time.
On-site physiotherapy services can provide early, cost-effective management of WRMSD in the automotive sector. Service utilization reflects the influence of gender, job task, and shift-dynamics on rates and location of WRMSD.
PubMed ID
17955347 View in PubMed
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