A research study on the relationship of work environments to occupational diseases in dental hygienists
치과위생사의 근무환경과 직업병의 연관성에 대한 조사연구
남, 영신; 장, 재연
Journal of Korean Society of Dental Hygiene, 11(4):581-593, 2011
Journal of Korean Society of Dental Hygiene; 한국치위생학회지
Objectives:The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of the work environments of dental hygienists to their occupational diseases in a bid to provide some information on their health care, health promotion and the prevention of occupational diseases.
Methods:The subjects in this study were 300 dental hygienists who worked in Seoul, urban communities involving large cities and rural areas. One-on-one interviews and a self-administered survey were implemented with their consent.
Results: The findings of the study were as follows: 1. 60 percent of the dental hygienists investigated replied that they had occupation-related physical symptoms. By the length of service, the dental hygienists who worked for six to 10 years had the most symptoms. 2. Out of the occupation-related symptoms, the most prevalent symptom was a pain in the shoulders and neck(41%), followed by a pain in the lower back, a pain in the legs, a pain in the wrists and skin diseases. The most painful parts of the body were hands and arms. 3. In regard to the relationship between the general characteristics and the intensity of pain, the highest group of the dental hygienists in Seoul replied that they had a severe pain, and the lowest number of those in the large cities gave the same answer. 4. Concerning the cause of occupational diseases, 65.7 percent cited the wrong posture. 5. As to relationship between the general characteristics and regular hospital-visit experiences for the prevention of pain during work hours, many of the dental hygienists who were in their 40s and 50s visited hospitals from time to time, and many of those in their 20s never did that. 6. In regard to links between the general characteristics and an opinion on the necessity of regular education, many of the respondents from Seoul and urban regions involving large cities considered it necessary to receive education on a regular basis. By daily work hours, the highest number of those who worked for eight hours or less considered that necessary, and lots of those who worked for 11 hours didn’t consent to that. The gaps between them were statistically significant(p＜0.05).
Conclusions:Given the findings of the study, daily work hours and length of service were two integral factors to affect the regular hospital-visit experiences and pain, and the wrong posture was identified as the most common cause of occupational diseases. To ensure the successful prevention of occupational diseases, dental hygiene students should be taught the importance of occupational disease before they start to work, and supplementary education should be provided for dental hygienists to work in the right posture.
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