Augmenting Career Longevity: An Analysis of Ergonomics Training Among 134 Neurological Surgeons



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World Neurosurgery


BACKGROUND: Work-related pain among neurosurgeons remains understudied, yet can have long-term consequences which affect operative efficiency and efficacy, career longevity, and life outside of work.

OBJECTIVE: This study provides insight into the extent of pain experienced by neurosurgeons and the effect of ergonomics training on pain.

METHODS: An online survey pertaining to ergonomics and pain was sent to all neurosurgeons on the Council of State Neurosurgical Societies (CSNS) email distribution list. Statistical comparisons of age groups against pain levels and ergonomics training against pain levels, as well as multivariate linear regression of demographics, training, and operating factors against pain levels were performed.

RESULTS: One hundred and thirty-four neurosurgeons responded to the survey. The mean average severity of pain across respondents was 3.3/10 and the mean peak severity of pain was 5.1/10. Among the reported peak pain severity scores, neurosurgeons with 21-30 years of operating experience had significantly higher pain scores than those with 11-20 years of experience (mean 6.2 vs. 4.2; P < 0.05), while neurosurgeons with more than 30 years of experience had significantly less pain than those with 21-30 years of experience (mean 4.4 vs. 6.2, P = 0.005). Training in ergonomics did not significantly improve respondents' reported peak or mean pain severities (17.9% reported having ergonomics training).

CONCLUSIONS: Ergonomics training did not appear to make a difference in neurosurgeons' pain severities. This may signify a need to optimize ergonomics pedagogy to achieve observable benefits.

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Medical Subject Headings

Humans; Neurosurgeons; Surveys and Questionnaires; Pain; Ergonomics; Surgeons

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