Maritime Health Research and Education-NET/Cohort protocols/Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire(NMQ)Cohort Protocol

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Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire(NMQ)Cohort Protocol[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

This protocol under development is intended to be used as a standard protocol for completion of the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire(NMQ) cross-sectional studies in the MAHRE-Net. Actually, in Oct 2020 the European Union launches a campaign for musculoskeletal problems at the workplaces for all types of job. However as the maritime sector is relatively small, less than 1% of the population, this campaign will not really reach our maritime target groups --> LINK . There is evidence that significant musculoskeletal problems exists in all of the maritime occupations and a screening of problems with the well-known NMQ tool is highly relevant.

Fishing[edit | edit source]

According to Dabholkar et al. fishermen have musculoskeletal problem with the most common joint involved is low back and then followed by shoulder, knee, and hand. Ergonomic risk factor involved were found to be repeated pulling and throwing of the net as well as repeated bending forward action to lift heavy load and transfer that heavy load.[1] ... to be continued

Seafaring[edit | edit source]

Carter et al. give attention for the needed health promotion in seafaring despite the lack of an extensive knowledge base on seafarer health the available information indicates that the predominant causes of serious illness and death in seafarers are broadly similar to those in the same socioeconomic group in their country of residence. [2] Related to musculoskeletal diseases, they propose regular training to improve fitness can reduce risks and rapid mobilisation after some conditions such as low back pain can reduce long term disability. There is a parallel need for sound systems of work to ensure that musculoskeletal demands from routine duties do not exceed accepted weight, reach or frequency criteria.to be continued...

Off-shore[edit | edit source]

to be continued....

Port workers[edit | edit source]

to be continued....

Divers[edit | edit source]

to be continued....

Objectives[edit | edit source]

To provide systematic and current knowledge about the ergonomic working environment for seafarers on ships from different countries. To use scientific methods that are well tested on land in many countries and which are supposed to be useful on the ships and thus can ensure relevant and valid results.....

Scientific aims[edit | edit source]

The aim is to help to create Health Promotion Program. The goal is for everyone to benefit from the project, both for the seafarers and for the companies. The scientific aim is to produce data and publications that convey new knowledge of high validity based on the newest scientific principles for conduct of studies in peer reviewed publications....

Hypotheses[edit | edit source]

It is the aims to test the hypothesis that the working environment of the ships differs by ship type and size, area of work, job type of the ship and other industries onshore. Further that there is a connection between the working environment, lifestyle on board and home and the health and welfare of the crews.

Methods[edit | edit source]

An epidemiological, cross-sectional based study will be performed by the use of mail distributed questionnaires about the subjective environment including self-assessment of health are used. The content of the questionnaires is demographic information about the person for the students and about the ship for the seafarers. So we have two versions of the questionnaire one for the students and one for them when they are in practice as seafarers and later employed seafarers. We include screening for smoking, hight and weight for BMI related to the Chronic diseases prevention in order to stay in line with the DiMoPEx (CA 15129)

Questionnaires[edit | edit source]

Questionnaire for maritime students Questionnaire for seafarers(NMQ)

Data collection[edit | edit source]

This questionnaire was developed as a tool for workplace assessment of the ergonomic work environment. When the employees have filled in the questionnaire, the overall results for the workplace and for each of the departments are calculated. If the survey seems to indicate problems with the work environment, the work environment committee or other relevant actors at the workplace should discuss how to act on the basis of the results. If help from the outside is needed, the workplace may contact consultants, the Labour Inspection, or relevant organisations. ...developed guide for understanding and interpretation of the results. This guide should be used in connection with the questionnaire. personal interview by the maritime students.

Long-term perspectives[edit | edit source]

After a successful study with some Maritime University classes, the idea is to repeat the questionnaire in 2-3 years with the same students now working at sea after agreement with the universities. Studies with other themes like Safety Culture can be done with the Maritime Universities.

Further the aim is to collaborate with other countries, Iceland that have shown interest for the same type of study. The identical questionnaire will be used with possibility to compare between the countries. Our target group of maritime workers include seafarers, fishermen, port workers, off-shore workers and seafarers’ wives. That means we will try to do similar studies with the other target groups over time.

We propose a program with methodological training support and supervision of the students’ research projects, their graduation Thesis.

This initiative will contribute to important parts of the UN Sustainable goals, especially Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing especially for the maritime workers and Goal 14: Life below water with observations on compliance to keep the garbage on board and visible pollutions at sea in the monitoring.

Data processing[edit | edit source]

Data is transferred to electronic processing during the investigation. Standardised statistical methods will be used using the latest data processing SPSS program. Data will be handled under strict confidentiality in anonymous form in the universities. All data will be stored in a special database to use data up following studies later. The Data Inspectorate to be informed and current legislation to be complied with.

Ethical requirements[edit | edit source]

Since the study does not involve blood sampling, and since participation in the study is completely voluntary after informed consent, the study does not involve ethical problems. All data are treated according to the Act on the duty of confidentiality, and the guidelines for good epidemiological practice will be followed. The participants' anonymity will be ensured in all ways and this will be apparent from the project description and the form. It will be ensured that the electronic form is locked so that the information cannot be seen by anyone other than the researchers.

Dissemination of results[edit | edit source]

The results will also be presented in the Maritime Company News and at conferences and be available on relevant websites from e.g….. In case the student wants to go further a scientific article will be published in an international scientific journal.

Prevention[edit | edit source]

Links to guidelines for prevention:

https://www.osha.gov/ergonomics

https://osha.europa.eu/en/tags/musculoskeletaldisorders

Pilot study[edit | edit source]

Pilot studies are carried out among 20-30 students in maritime universities

Work plan[edit | edit source]

  1. Agreement with maritime schools and the students
  2. Questionnaire collection program ready
  3. Pilot test of the Form
  4. Mail lists established
  5. Mail with link to the questionnaire in English
  6. Reminder send twice with 2 weeks between
  7. Data analysed and tables prepared
  8. Report-Thesis- publication
  9. Prevention plan

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Dabholkar TA, Nakhawa P, Yardi S. Common musculoskeletal problem experienced by fishing industry workers. Indian J Occup Environ Med. 2014 May;18(2):48–51.
  2. Carter T, Karlshoej K. The design of health promotion strategies for seafarers. International Maritime Health. 2017;68(2):102–7.