Soldiers with musculoskeletal injuries

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Purpose: To describe Soldiers' (e.g., U.S. Army personnel) perspectives of the effect of musculoskeletal injuries. Design: Data were collected in the summer of 2003 using a prospective survey design. The survey was mailed to active duty Soldiers on modified work plans because of musculoskeletal injuries. These Soldiers were assigned to one Army installation in the US. Methods: Responses to the survey questions were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The numerous handwritten comments were evaluated qualitatively. Findings: Injuries most often involved the back and knees (18% each). At least 47% of the injuries were work related. Injuries interfered with Soldiers' abilities to perform military tasks such as road marching (80%) and organized physical training (69%). Although many respondents indicated they were not experiencing pain, at least some Soldiers reported mild pain for each of 19 anatomic locations. Severe pain was reported most often for the lower back (21%). In their written comments, Soldiers expressed a sense of frustration with their injuries, the healthcare system and providers, and their unit leaders. Conclusions: Healthcare personnel are challenged to better manage Soldiers with musculoskeletal injuries and expedite their return to full duty. Unit leaders are challenged to create work environments that focus on injury prevention and allow injured Soldiers time to heal. Clinical Relevance: The Soldiers in this study were often engaged in physically challenging work or sports activities when injured. Because people outside the Army engage in similar activities (e.g., construction workers, endurance athletes), the findings from this study might be applicable to nonmilitary communities. Additionally, with the number of Reserve and National Guard Soldiers currently on active duty, civilian nurses might be caring for Soldiers with musculoskeletal injuries. © 2008 Sigma Theta Tau International.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Jennings BM; Yoder LH; Heiner SL; Loan LA; Bingham MO
  • Start Page

  • 268
  • End Page

  • 274
  • Volume

  • 40
  • Issue

  • 3