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Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSD) in the neck or shoulders are common occupational health problems among nursing professionals. This study aimed to identify potential predictors of WRMSD in neck and shoulders, namely workplace condition, emotional distress and work engagement, among Malaysian nurses in public hospitals. A cross-sectional study was conducted among female nurses working in public hospitals around Klang Valley, Malaysia. Predictors of WRMSD in the neck and shoulders were identified using multivariate logistic regression analysis. A total of 550 out of 660 nurses returned the questionnaire (83.3% response rate). However, the analysis was based on 376 nurses who reverted with completely answered questionnaires. 73.1% of nurses suffered from WRMSD in at least one site in the past 12 months. Of these, 48.9%, 36.9% and 55.6% reported symptoms in the neck alone, shoulders alone and any of these regions respectively. When all significant predictors (p<0.10) were simultaneously included in the final model, the odds of WRMSD in neck or shoulders were higher among nurses perceiving high physical demand (AOR: 1.18, 95% CI 1.02-1.30) and high psychological job demand (AOR: 1.08, 95%CI 1.01-1.15). Anxious and stressful nursing personnel possess 22.6% and 11.6% greater odds of WRMSD in neck or shoulders in comparison to nurses without the symptoms. Married nurses were also at higher odds (AOR: 2.12, 95% CI 1.27-3.55), whereas being engaged to work, significantly reduced the risk of WRMSD in any of the areas. This study indicated that the neck or shoulders WRMSD are prevalent among nurses. Psychological job demand, physical demand, anxiety and stress were the significant predictors of WRMSD in the studied anatomical areas.
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