Amira Omrane

Abstracts

5 Musculoskeletal Disorders among Employees of an Assembly Industrial Workshop: Biomechanical Constrain’s Semi-Quantitative Analysis

Authors: Lamia Bouzgarrou, Amira Omrane, Haithem Kalel, Salma Kammoun

Abstract:

Background: During recent decades, mechanical and electrical industrial sector has greatly expanded with a significant employability potential. However, this sector faces the increasing prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders with heavy consequences associated with direct and indirect costs. Objective: The current intervention was motivated by large musculoskeletal upper limbs and back disorders frequency among the operators of an assembly workshop in a leader company specialized in sanitary equipment and water and gas connections. We aimed to identify biomechanical constraints among these operators through activity and biomechanical exposures semi-quantitative analysis based on video recordings and MUSKA-TMS software. Methods: We conducted, open observations and exploratory interviews at first, in order to overall understand work situation. Then, we analyzed operator’s activity through systematic observations and interviews. Finally, we conducted a semi-quantitative biomechanical constraints analysis with MUSKA-TMS software after representative activity period video recording. The assessment of biomechanical constrains was based on different criteria; biomechanical characteristics (work positions), aggravating factor (cold, vibration, stress, etc.) and exposure time (duration and frequency of solicitations, recovery phase); with a synthetic score of risk level variable from 1 to 4 (1: low risk of developing MSD and 4: high risk). Results: Semi-quantitative analysis objective many elementary operations with higher biomechanical constrains like high repetitiveness, insufficient recovery time and constraining angulation of shoulders, wrists and cervical spine. Among these risky elementary operations we sited the assembly of sleeve with the body, the assembly of axis, and the control on testing table of gas valves. Transformation of work situations were recommended, covering both the redevelopment of industrial areas and the integration of new tools and equipment of mechanical handling that reduces operator exposure to vibration. Conclusion: Musculoskeletal disorders are complex and costly disorders. Moreover, an approach centered on the observation of the work can promote the interdisciplinary dialogue and exchange between actors with the objective to maximize the performance of a company and improve the quality of life of operators.

Keywords: Ergonomics, Musculoskeletal Disorders, biomechanical constrains, semi-quantitative analysis

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4 Premature Departure of Active Women from the Working World: One Year Retrospective Study in the Tunisian Center

Authors: Lamia Bouzgarrou, Amira Omrane, Malika Azzouzi, Asma Kheder, Amira Saadallah, Ilhem Boussarsar, Kamel Rejeb

Abstract:

Introduction: Increasing the women’s labor force participation is a political issue in countries with developed economies and those with low growth prospects. However, in the labor market, women continue to face several obstacles, either for the integration or for the maintenance at work. This study aims to assess the prevalence of premature withdrawal from working life -due to invalidity or medical justified early retirement- among active women in the Tunisian center and to identify its determinants. Material and methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study, over one year, focusing on the agreement for invalidity or early retirement for premature usury of the body- delivered by the medical commission of the National Health Insurance Fund (CNAM) in the central Tunisian district. We exhaustively selected women's files. Data related to Socio-demographic characteristics, professional and medical ones, were collected from the CNAM's administrative and medical files. Results: During the period of one year, 222 women have had an agreement for premature departure of their professional activity. Indeed, 149 women (67.11%) benefit of from invalidity agreement and 20,27% of them from favorable decision for early retirement. The average age was 50 ± 6 years with extremes of 23 and 62 years, and 18.9% of women were under 45 years. Married women accounted for 69.4% and 59.9% of them had at least one dependent child in charge. The average professional seniority in the sector was 23 ± 8 years. The textile-clothing sector was the most affected, with 70.7% of premature departure. Medical reasons for withdrawal from working life were mainly related to neuro-degenerative diseases in 46.8% of cases, rheumatic ones in 35.6% of cases and cardiovascular diseases in 22.1% of them. Psychiatric and endocrine disorders motivated respectively 17.1% and 13.5% of these departures. The evaluation of the sequels induced by these pathologies concluded to an average permanent partial disability equal to 61.4 ± 17.3%. The analytical study concluded that the agreement of disability or early retirement was correlated with the insured ‘age (p = 10-3), the professional seniority (p = 0.003) and the permanent partial incapacity (PPI) rate assessed by the expert physician (p = 0.04). No other social or professional factors were correlated with this decision. Conclusion: Despite many advances in labour law and Tunisian legal text on employability, women still exposed to several social and professional inequalities (payment inequality, precarious work ...). Indeed, women are often pushed to accept working in adverse conditions, thus they are more vulnerable to develop premature wear on the body and being forced to premature departures from the world of work. These premature withdrawals from active life are not only harmful to the concerned women themselves, but also associated with considerable costs for the insurance organism and the society. In order to ensure maintenance at work for women, a political commitment is imperative in the implementation of global prevention strategies and the improvement of working conditions, particularly in our socio-cultural context.

Keywords: Active Women, Early Retirement, Invalidity, Maintenance at Work

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3 School Accidents in Educational Establishment in Tunisia: A Five Years Retrospective Survey in the Governorate of Mahdia

Authors: Lamia Bouzgarrou, Amira Omrane, Leila Mrabet, Taoufik Khalfallah

Abstract:

Background and aims: School accidents are one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among pupils and students. Indeed, they may induce an elevated number of lost school days, heavy emotional and physical disabilities, and financial costs on the victims and their families. This study aims to evaluate the annual incidence of school accidents in the central Tunisian governorate of Mahdia and to identify the epidemiological profile of victims and risk factors of these accidents. Methods: A retrospective study was conducted over the period of 5 school years, focusing on school accidents that occurred in public educational institutions (primary, basic, secondary and university) in the governorate of Mahdia (area = 2 966 km² and number of inhabitants in 2014 = 410 812). All accidents declared near the only official insurance of this type of injuries (MASU: Mutual School and University Accidents), and initially taken in charge at the University Hospital of Mahdia were included. Data was collected from the MASU reporting forms and the medical records of emergency and other specialized hospital departments. Results: With 3248 identified victims, the annual incidence of school accidents was equal to 0.69 per 100 pupils and students per year. The average age of victims was 14.51 ± 0.059 years and the sex ratio was 1.58. Pupils aged between 12 and 15 years, were concerned by 46.7% of the identified accidents. The practice of sports was the most relevant circumstances of these accidents (76.2 %). In 56.58 % of cases, falls were the leading mechanism. Bruises and fractures were the most frequent lesions (32.43 % and 30.51 %). Serious school accidents were noted in 28% of cases with hospitalization in 2.27 % of them. The average lost school days, was 12.23±1.73 days. Accidents occurring during sports or leisure activities were significantly more serious (p= 0.021). Furthermore, the frequency of hospitalization was significantly higher among boys (2.81% vs. 1.43%; p= 0.035), students ≤11 years (p= 0.008), and following crush trauma (p= 0.000). In addition, the surgical interventions were statistically more frequent among male victims (p=0.00), accidents occurring during physical education sessions (p=0.000); those associated to falls (p=0.000) and to crushes mechanisms (p=0.002), and injuries affecting lower limbs (p=0.000). Following this Multi-varied analysis concluded that the severity of school accident is correlated to the activity practiced during the trauma and the geographical location of the school. Conclusion: Children and adolescents are one of the most vulnerable groups against incidents with the risk of permanent disability, mainly related to the perturbation of the growth process and physiological limitations. Our five-year study, objectified a real elevate incidence of school accident among children and adolescents, with a considerable rate of severe injuries. In any community, the promotion of adolescents and children’s health is an important indicator of the public health level. Thus, it’s important to develop a multidisciplinary prevention strategy of school accident, based on safety and security rules and adapted to the specificity of our context.

Keywords: Children and Adolescents, children health, injuries and disability, school accident

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2 Mental Health of Caregivers in Public Hospital Intensive Care Department: A Multicentric Cross-Sectional Study

Authors: Lamia Bouzgarrou, Amira Omrane, Naima Bouatay, Chaima Harrathi, Samia Machroughl, Ahmed Mhalla

Abstract:

Background and Aims: Professionals of health care sector are exposed to psychosocial constraints like stress, harassment, violence, which can lead to many mental health problems such as, depression, addictive behavior, and burn-out. Moreover, it’s well established that caregivers affected to intensive care units are more likely to experience such constraints and mental health problems. For these caregivers, the mental health state may affect care quality and patient’s safety. This study aims either to identify occupational psychosocial constraints and their mental health consequences among paramedical and medical caregivers affected to intensive units in Tunisian public hospital. Methods: An exhaustive three months cross-sectional study conducted among medical and paramedical staffs of intensive care units in three Tunisian university hospitals. After informed consent collection, we evaluated work-related stress, workplace harassment, depression, anxious troubles, addictive behavior, and self-esteems through an anonymous self-completed inquiry form. Five validated questionnaires and scales were included in this form: Karasek's Job Content Questionnaire, Negative Acts Questionnaire, Rosenberg, Beck depression inventory and Hamilton Anxiety scale. Results: We included 129 intensive unit caregivers; with a mean age of 36.1 ± 1.1 years and a sex ratio of 0.58. Among these caregivers, 30% were specialist or under-specialization doctors. The average seniority in the intensive care was 6.1 ± 1.2 (extremes=1 to 40 years). Atypical working schedules were noted among 36.7% of the subjects with an imposed choice in 52.4% of cases. During the last 12 months preceding the survey, 51.7% of care workers were absent from work because of a health problem with stops exceeding 15 days in 11.7%. Job strain was objective among 15% of caregivers and 38.33% of them were victims of moral harassment. A low or very low self-esteem was noted among 40% of respondents. Moreover, active smoking was reported by 20% subjects, alcohol consumption by 13.3% and psychotropic substance use by 1.7% of them. According to Beck inventory and Hamilton Anxiety scale, we concluded that 61.7% of intensive care providers were depressed, with 'severe' depression in 13.3% of cases and 49.9% of them present anxious disorders. Multivariate analysis objective that, job strain was correlated with young age (p=0.005) and shorter work seniority (p=0.001). Workplace and moral harassment was more prevalent among females (p=0.009), under-specialization doctor (p=0.021), those affected to atypical schedules (p=0.008). Concerning depression, it was more prevalent among staff in job strain situation (p = 0.004), among smokers caregivers (p = 0.048), and those with no leisure activity (p < 0.001). Anxious disorders were positively correlated to chronic diseases history (p = 0.001) and work-bullying exposure (p = 0.004). Conclusions: Our findings reflected a high frequency of caregivers who are under stress at work and those who are victims of moral harassment. These health professionals were at increased risk for developing psychiatric illness such depressive and anxious disorders and addictive behavior. Our results suggest the necessity of preventive strategies of occupational psychosocial constraints in order to preserve professional’s mental health and maximize patient safety and quality of care.

Keywords: Mental Health, intensive care units, health care sector, psychosocial constraints

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1 Risk Factors Associated to Low Back Pain among Active Adults: Cross-Sectional Study among Workers in Tunisian Public Hospital

Authors: Lamia Bouzgarrou, Irtyah Merchaoui, Amira Omrane, Salma Kammoun, Amine Daafa, Neila Chaari

Abstract:

Backgrounds: Currently, low back pain (LBP) is one of the most prevalent public health problems, which caused severe morbidity among a large portion of the adult population. It is also associated with heavy direct and indirect costs, in particular, related to absenteeism and early retirement. Health care workers are one of most occupational groups concerned by LBP, especially because of biomechanical and psycho-organizational risk factors. Our current study aims to investigate risk factors associated with chronic low back pain among Tunisian caregivers in university-hospitals. Methods: Cross-sectional study conducted over a period of 14 months, with a representative sample of caregivers, matched according to age, sex and work department, in two university-hospitals in Tunisia. Data collection included items related to socio-professional characteristics, the evaluation of the working capacity index (WAI), the occupational stress (Karazek job strain questionnaire); the quality of life (SF12), the musculoskeletal disorders Nordic questionnaire, and the examination of the spine flexibility (distance finger-ground, sit-stand maneuver and equilibrium test). Results: Totally, 293 caregivers were included with a mean age equal to 42.64 ± 11.65 years. A body mass index (BMI) exceeding 30, was noted in 20.82% of cases. Moreover, no regular physical activity was practiced in 51.9% of cases. In contrast, domestic activity equal or exceeding 20 hours per week, was reported by 38.22%. Job strain was noted in 19.79 % of cases and the work capacity was 'low' to 'average' among 27.64% of subjects. During the 12 months previous to the investigation, 65% of caregivers complained of LBP, with pain rated as 'severe' or 'extremely severe' in 54.4% of cases and with a frequency of discomfort exceeding one episode per week in 58.52% of cases. During physical examination, the mean distance finger-ground was 7.10 ± 7.5cm. Caregivers assigned to 'high workload' services had the highest prevalence of LBP (77.4%) compared to other categories of hospital services, with no statistically significant relationship (P = 0.125). LBP prevalence was statistically correlated with female gender (p = 0.01) and impaired work capacity (p < 10⁻³). Moreover, the increase of the distance finger-ground was statistically associated with LBP (p = 0.05), advanced age (p < 10⁻³), professional seniority (p < 10⁻³) and the BMI ≥ 25 (p = 0.001). Furthermore, others physical tests of spine flexibility were underperformed among LBP suffering workers with a statistically significant difference (sit-stand maneuver (p = 0.03); equilibrium test (p = 0.01)). According to the multivariate analysis, only the domestic activity exceeding 20H/week, the degraded quality of physical life, and the presence of neck pain were significantly corelated to LBP. The final model explains 36.7% of the variability of this complaint. Conclusion: Our results highlighted the elevate prevalence of LBP among caregivers in Tunisian public hospital and identified both professional and individual predisposing factors. The preliminary analysis supports the necessity of a multidimensional approach to prevent this critical occupational and public health problem. The preventive strategy should be based both on the improvement of working conditions, and also on lifestyle modifications, and reinforcement of healthy behaviors in these active populations.

Keywords: Prevention, low back pain, risk factor, health care workers

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