CARERC Pilot: Prospective Observation of Musculoskeletal Disorders Among Firefighters

Grants and Contracts Details


CARERC Pilot Funding Grant Application Title: Prospective Observation of Musculoskeletal Disorders Among Firefighters ABSTRACT Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are a significant burden to career firefighters at both an individual and departmental level. MSD is an umbrella term which describe diseases and injuries that impact the musculoskeletal system, including bones, joints, tendons, muscles, ligaments, nerves, and other soft tissue. Previous investigations have found that physical and psychosocial aspects, such as fitness engagement and occupational stress, relate to firefighter MSD occurrence. However, these investigations have historically been cross-sectional in nature. This severely limits the ability to identify risk factors of MSDs, and further hinders development of prevention and treatment interventions to minimize MSD burden. Additionally, previous investigations have frequently relied on formal reports of MSDs, which does not account for the cultural barriers that firefighters indicate severely inhibit their reporting of MSDs. Though previous reports clearly demonstrate the significant presence of firefighter MSDs, there is likely still a drastic underestimation of the true prevalence and impact of these conditions. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to prospectively describe and examine characteristics surrounding MSDs among firefighters. We aim to first, prospectively describe self-reported firefighter MSDs and identify the first incidence rate of these conditions. Secondly, we aim to examine the relationship between psychosocial and physical factors, and self-reported MSD occurrence. This examination allows for informed development of policies promotive of biopsychosocial informed firefighter health and wellness, MSD prevention and treatment efforts, and identification of holistic factors which influence firefighter health- related quality of life.
Effective start/end date7/1/196/30/24


  • National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health


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