Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare the prevalence and impact of work-related musculoskeletal pain in cardiac sonographers to a large control group of peer employees with similar demographics. Background: Cardiac sonographers are known to have high levels of occupational musculoskeletal pain. Comparative studies with other employees within cardiology/radiology departments have never been performed. Methods: An electronic survey was administered to Mayo Clinic employees at six major patient care facilities in four different states. Results: There were 2682 employees within the departments of cardiology and radiology who were contacted, and 1532 (57%) completed the survey. After excluding those who wore protective lead aprons, 517 employees comprised the control group and 66 cardiac sonographers made up the study group. Cardiac sonographers reported work-related musculoskeletal pain more frequently than the control group (88% vs 40%; P<.001). This association persisted after multivariable adjustment for age, sex, body mass index, length of current employment, and history of preexisting musculoskeletal pain (OR 11.6; [95% CI 5.32, 25.5]; P<.001). Cardiac sonographers sought medical care for their work-related pain more often (55% vs 21%; P<.001) and missed more work due to pain (35% vs 12%, P<.001). In a secondary analysis, cardiac sonographers also experienced more work-related musculoskeletal pain than nurses, technicians, and physicians working in the interventional laboratory who regularly wear a protective lead apron (P<.001). Conclusions: In this multisite cross-sectional study, cardiac sonographers experienced significantly more work-related pain and missed more work due to pain than peer employees within cardiology/radiology departments.
- cardiac sonographer
- musculoskeletal pain
- occupational hazard
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine