Identifying use of knowledge translation theory in applied ergonomic research
Master of Science
SubjectWork-related musculoskeletal injuries
Knowledge translation in applied ergonomics
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Introduction. Work-related injuries are a leading cause of physical disabilities impacting individuals’ quality of life. Work-related musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries continue to impact Ontario employers costing approximately one billion dollars and resulting in two and a half million employee sick-days. The cost of medical care and return-to-work programs has also continued to increase over the past several years. In a physically demanding occupation such as mining, MSK injuries are prevalent leading to disability and lost time claims. Using knowledge translation (KT) approaches and ergonomic research, it is possible to integrate evidence and mitigate factors associated with work-related injuries. Although preliminary studies have identified the use of KT theory in applied ergonomic research, there is a general lack of understanding of the impact of using KT theory/frameworks in industrial or organizational settings to inform best practice for ergonomic interventions aimed to reduce workplace injury. Objective. The two primary objectives of this project were to: 1) conduct a scoping review of the use of KT theory/frameworks to guide applied ergonomic research; and 2) use the findings of the scoping review to inform development of PDA@Work as a KT tool focusing on mitigating workplace musculoskeletal injury. Method. To address objective 1, methods developed by Arksey and O’Malley (2005) and Aromataris (2017) were adapted (Appendix A) to identify and appraise relevant studies related to KT theories used in ergonomic research. The adopted scoping review strategies were described in several stages; identifying the research question, identifying relevant studied and selection criteria, appraisal of the data, and synthesis of the findings (Arksey & O’Malley, 2005). To address objective 2, findings of the scoping review were used to facilitate development of the KT tool (PDA@Work). PDA@Work is a computer application that consolidates physical demand information associated with various jobs at a local above-ground mine. Health care professionals and occupational health and safety agents were asked for feedback using the “Interface User Feedback Questionnaire”.