Musculoskeletal disorders among dental hygienist and students of dental hygiene

Shifra Netanely*, Shai Luria, Danit Langer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objectives: The purpose of the present study was to present an up-to-date report on the prevalence of musculoskeletal complaints in dental hygienists and dental hygiene students in Israel. It examined the areas of the body that were most frequently affected and the intensity of pain in both groups. The possible differences between groups and the likelihood that musculoskeletal symptoms in students can be attributed to their workload. Method: A modified version of The Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ) was used to assess reports of Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) in general and in different body areas. A numerical pain scale was administered to evaluate pain intensity. Results: Two hundred and five women participated in the study: 85 experienced dental hygienists, 17 dental hygiene students and 103 students in a non-clinical track (control group). MSD reports were the most common in the neck (60%), upper back (52%) and lower back (61%). This tendency was seen across all three groups. Hygiene students differed significantly from the control group in terms of number of body areas with MSD and for pain intensity. By contrast, no significant differences were found between dental hygienists and hygiene students,. Conclusions: The findings suggest that dental hygienists and students are at high risk of developing MSD. The high prevalence of MSD among hygiene students underscores the need to commence intervention prior to the initiation of fieldwork.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)210-216
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Dental Hygiene
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 May 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • dental hygiene students
  • dental hygienists
  • musculoskeletal disorders


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