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New Zealand nurses to take part in international occupational health study.

Three hundred New Zealand nurses will take part in a major international occupational health study looking at musculoskeletal symptoms and disabilities. Otago University's Department of Preventive and Social Medicine is conducting the study in New Zealand. Lecturer in occupational health at the department, David McBride, said the international study was under the auspices of the Medical Research Council of the United Kingdom (UK) and would be conducted through the Environmental Epidemiology Unit at the University of Southampton in England. It will involve 26 countries and three groups of 300 workers in each country--nurses, call centre operators and postal workers. These groups of workers were chosen because they all had high rates of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), McBride said.

The study will look at cross-cultural differences in musculoskeletal symptoms and disability. Countries from Scandinavia, Europe, Africa, Asia, and North and South America are included in the study. The study will look at base-line MSDs and MSDs that develop during the year-long study period. "We will be interested in how rates vary and whether or not a tendency to worry about health predicts if chronic pain is likely. If it is, we may have to re-think they way we try to intervene with MSDs," McBride said.

How the New Zealand nurses in the study were to be recruited had yet to be decided. They may all work at one major district health board (DHB) or throughout a number of DHBs. Once that has been decided, questionnaires would be sent to participants asking for baseline MSD information. The questionnaire would be replicated after one year.

It is hoped funding for the New Zealand study will come through the Health Research Council but it may have to come from internal university funding. McBride hopes to apply for ethical approvals before the end of the year.
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Title Annotation:NEWS AND EVENTS
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Date:Nov 1, 2005
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