Prosthetists’ and Orthotists’ experience of their work and workspace–characterising the physical and organisational environment: Focus group findings. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Little research has been undertaken into occupational health and safety in the Prosthetics and Orthotics profession.To identify physical, psychosocial and environmental workplace experiences of Prosthetists and Orthotists in organisational settings.Qualitative methodology, cross-sectional design, using thematically analysed data collected from focus groups.Focus groups explored workplace and work experiences across varied Prosthetic and Orthotic settings. Data were thematically analysed to identify physical, psychosocial and environmental workplace experiences.Three major themes, Demands of Work Practice, Impacts on the Individual and Job Design, were identified as problematic. A latent theme Perceptions of Others of P&O highlighted a lack of understanding of the Prosthetics and Orthotics job role outside the profession.This first study of occupational health and safety in the Prosthetics and Orthotics profession identifies a number of important physical and psychosocial issues, including characteristics that have been previously identified as risk factors for work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Findings from the study indicate that some Australian organisations lack understanding of the Prosthetics and Orthotics job role, which results in inappropriate expectations of Prosthetics and Orthotics professionals. Preventing injuries and retaining experienced Prosthetists and Orthotists in the workplace is vital for the profession, and as a result, issues raised in this study require further exploration and then development of appropriate management strategies.This is the first study characterising the experiences of work and risk of injuries in Prosthetists and Orthotists. Preventing injuries and retaining experienced Prosthetists and Orthotists in the workplace is vital for the international profession. Issues raised in this study require further exploration and then development of appropriate management strategies.

publication date

  • 2016