Date of Award
Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
Susan H.N. Jeno
Joint Instability -- complications; Occupational Injuries -- etiology; Physical Therapists; Risk Factors
Background: Previous research has shown that there is greater prevalence of work-related injuries for Physical Therapists in their early years of practice. However, little evidence has focused on the correlation with the high physical strain and stress of the job to the rate of injury occurrence. Hypermobility has also been researched in regards to an increased risk of sustaining an injury, but no correlation has been found between hypermobility and work-related injury in Physical Therapists.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a correlation between hypermobility and work-related injury occurrence in the first five years of physical therapy practice.
Methods: A 141 question survey was sent to 235 Physical Therapists who graduated from the University of North Dakota Physical Therapy Program between 2012-2017 and had begun their first 5 years of professional practice. The survey consisted of questions regarding demographic information, injury history, and associated information following the start of their first 5 years of physical therapy.
Results: A total of 79 individuals responded to the survey. Twenty-two respondents reported being hypermobile according to the self-reported Beighton Hypermobility Scale. Of the 22 hypermobile respondents, 6 reported injuries that occurred during their first 0-5 years of practice. Only 1 of the 6 injuries in hypermobile respondents was reported as work-related. The injury reported occurred in the wrist. Four of the 5 work-related injuries reported, were involved with performance of manual therapy.
Conclusion: Due to the size of the sample, significant results were not found to support a correlation between hypermobility and work-related injuries. There was no correlation found between hypermobility of the low back/SI and low back injuries along with finger and wrist hypermobility and finger and wrist injuries.
Fetsch, Mikelle; Naas, Ashley; and Slaikeu, Amanda, "Association of generalized joint hypermobility and the occurrence of musculoskeletal work-related injury in the first zero to five years of physical therapy practice: a pilot study" (2018). Physical Therapy Scholarly Projects. 655.