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Safe Patient Handling: Movement and Neuroscience Center Research

Safe Patient Handling: An Evaluation of Sit-to-stand Transfers

Supported, in part, by the Donald and Pearl Winkler for Stroke Research Institute Endowment, and the Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experiences Program, Agricultural Research Division grants from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Workplace injuries arising from improper handling of patients during transfers are a prevalent problem in the healthcare field and are concerning due to the risk of injury to both clinicians and patients. One tool that has emerged from the emphasis on safe patient handling is the sit-to-stand transfer device. A sit-to-stand transfer device is a battery powered machine that transfers a patient from a seated to a standing position, moves the individual from one place to another, and returns them to a seated position (e.g. moving from sitting on the bed to a wheelchair). As many individuals recovering from a stroke find it difficult to perform a sit-to-stand transfer, regaining this functional ability often becomes a central goal within rehabilitation programs. The aims of this research are to explore both the clinician’s and patient’s joint movements and muscle activation during device-assisted and clinician-assisted transfers.

Association between musculoskeletal injuries and the usage of patient-handling devices among rehabilitation physical therapists

This is a cross-sectional survey of physical therapists and physical therapy assistants currently practicing at rehabilitation centers in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. The aims of this study are to determine the prevalence and severity of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs), and the associations between WMSDs and specific exposure risk factors such as usage of patient-handling equipment.

Relevant Publications and Presentations

Burnfield JM, McCrory B, Shu Y, Buster TW, Taylor AP, Goldman AJ (2013). Comparative kinematic and electromyographic assessment of clinician- and device-assisted sit-to-stand transfers in patients with stroke, Physical Therapy, 93(10), 1331-1341.

Burnfield JM, Shu Y, Buster TW, Taylor A, McBride MM, Krause ME (2012). Kinematic and electromyographic analysis of normal and device-assisted sit to stand transfers. Gait and Posture, 36(3):516-522.

Goldman AJ, Buster TW, Taylor AP, Ediger MJ, Shu Y, Burnfield JM (2011). Muscle Demands of Device Assisted versus Clinician Assisted Sit-to-stand Transfers: Implications for Stroke Rehabilitation. Stroke, 42(3), pgs. e326-327.

Hueftle AM, Balogh BJ, Taylor AP, Goldman AJ, Buster TW, Burnfield JM (2010). Stroke rehabilitation: A kinematic analysis of device-assisted and clinician-assisted sit-to-stand transfers. Online Proceedings, American Society of Biomechanics 34th Annual Meeting, pgs. 310-311.

McBride MM, Hueftle AM, Krause ME, Buster TW, Burnfield JM, Bashford GR, Taylor AP. Safe patient handling: A kinematic analysis of device-assisted versus no device sit-to-stand motion. Online Proceedings, American Society of Biomechanics 2009 Annual Meeting.

Burnfield JM. Device Assisted Sit-to-Stand Movements: A Comparison of Joint Motions and Muscle Demands to Traditional Movements. Presented, Ninth Annual Safe Patient Handling and Movement Conference. Lake Buena Vista, FL. April 2009.