Type of Article:  Original Research

Volume 10; Issue 2 (April 2022)

Page No.: 4170-4176

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.16965/ijpr.2022.111

Musculoskeletal Burden of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on Health Care Workers Working for Long Hours during COVID-19 Pandemic in India: A Survey

Sakshi Sachdeva Seth.

Sakshi Sachdeva Seth, Holy Family Hospital, India.

Corresponding Author: Sakshi Sachdeva Seth, Holy Family Hospital, India. E-Mail: sakshisachdeva02@gmail.com



Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated the use of enhanced personal protective equipment (PPE) by healthcare workers (HCWs) in patient-facing roles. Consistent use of PPE is reported to have so many direct or indirect negative effects on human body ranging from physiological impact which includes heat stress, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, fatigue, confusion etc. to Dermatological complications like mask acne and rashes. Tightly fitted mask has been reported to produce Neck pain. But there are no enough evidences for its musculoskeletal impact. The aim of the current study is to find out the effect of consistent use of PPE on musculoskeletal system.

Material and Method:  We conducted a single-centre, retrospective cross-sectional study among a cohort of HCWs who performed COVID-19 duties and used enhanced PPE. The cohort consisted of different categories of doctors, nursing personnel, and other paramedical staff.  A content validated questionnaire was disseminated through WhatsApp application and Email ID. Outcome measures include joint discomfort (measured through CMDQ), Fatigue (FAS score), Cramps, and muscle soreness.

Results: Retrospective analysis of the symptoms of 121 respondents is reported. FAS scoring showed 56.19% of the participants complained about fatigue. According to CMDQ tool, 68.59% participants reported discomfort in neck, 69.42% in the upper back, 57.85% in right leg, and 56.19% in left leg. Cramps is reported in 62.8% of the participants.

Conclusion: Our study demonstrates the undeniable negative impact of PPE on musculoskeletal system of the front-line HCWs using enhanced PPE and lays the ground for incorporating ‘potential exercise regime’ for the health care workers using PPE consistently for the foreseeable future.

Key words: SARS-COV-2, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Health care workers, Health, Neck pain, Headache, costume related pains.


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Cite this article: Sakshi Sachdeva Seth.  Musculoskeletal Burden of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on Health Care Workers Working for Long Hours during COVID-19 Pandemic in India: A Survey. Int J Physiother Res 2022;10(2):4170-4176. DOI: 10.16965/ijpr.2022.111