Association between work engagement and perceived exertion among healthcare workers

Rodrigo Luiz Carregaro, Aline Martins de Toledo, Gustavo Christofoletti, Ana Beatriz de Oliveira, Jefferson Rosa Cardoso, Rosimeire Simprini Padula

Abstract


Introduction: Complaints and musculoskeletal discomforts are common manifestations of individuals affected by work-related disorders (WRMD), and the influence of individual and/or psychosocial risk factors may play a significant role in WRMD development. Objective: To evaluate and to compare work engagement (WE) and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and to assess the association between indexes of WE and RPE among healthcare workers. Materials and methods: Seventeen female subjects (36 ± 11 years, 1.58 ± 0.06 m and 59 ± 9 kg) participated, all officially employed on a nonprofit agency. The Nordic Questionnaire was used to evaluate musculoskeletal complaints and the Borg Scale used to evaluate the RPE. The Utrecht Work Engagement Scale quantified WE (vigor, dedication and absorption domains). Participants were divided into two groups, according to their sectors: healthcare clinics and institution for the elderly. The independent student t test was used to verify differences between groups and the chi-square test to verify associations between variables. Results: All subjects reported musculoskeletal complaints, mainly in the low back (58%). RPE did not differ between groups, while in the vigor, it was found a significant statistically difference (p = 0.035). An association between RPE and vigor and RPE and dedication was establish (p = 0.02 and p = 0.036, respectively). Conclusion: The association between WE and RPE suggests that workers with lower indexes of vigor and dedication may perceive greater physical demand, which can be imposed by work demands.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1590/S0103-51502013000300011

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