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Angela Carta, Francesca Parmigiani, Annamaria Roversi, Rita Rossato, Cinzia Milini, Giovanni Parrinello, Pietro Apostoli, Lorenzo Alessio, Stefano Porru
British Journal of Nursing, Vol. 19, Iss. 9, 13 May 2010, pp 576 - 582

The aim of the project was to educate nursing staff on patient handling techniques to prevent low back pain. Within the framework of a multidisciplinary preventive intervention, a pre-post study design was implemented in a hospital. One hundred and forty nurses and healthcare assistants attended a two-hour lesson and a three-hour practical training session; 48 nurses attended a train-the-trainer programme that was comprised of three-hour classes, two-hour lessons on communication techniques and four hours of practical training. Improvements were tested using questionnaires and direct observations. A statistically significant improvement was noted in questionnaire scores (p<0.001) and handling techniques (p<0.001); use of equipment and low back symptoms improved remarkably. The train-the-trainer programme improved knowledge, communication skills and ability to evaluate manual handling techniques; this allowed the education programme in patient-handling techniques to be extended to all healthcare workers. This approach was effective in increasing the knowledge, practical abilities and communication skills of the workforce. It also allowed a network of internal trainer nurses to be set up, who enabled the implementation of safer and healthier working techniques in nursing staff.

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