Ergonomics in endourology and laparoscopy: An overview of musculoskeletal problems in urology

Irene M. Tjiam*, Richard Goossens, Barbara M. Schout, Evert L. Koldewijn, Ad J. Hendrikx, Arno M. Muijtjens, Albert J. Scherpbier, Alfred J. Witjes

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    34 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: This study aims to provide an overview of type and frequency of musculoskeletal complaints among urologists. In addition, the urologists' knowledge about ergonomic conditions during minimally invasive urology was assessed, and they were asked how they would prefer to gain knowledge about this topic. Materials and Methods: An online and hard copy version questionnaire was administered to urologists from different countries, mainly from Europe, performing endourology and laparoscopy. Results: Of the 285 respondents, 245 (86.0%) urologists experienced musculoskeletal complaints in the past 12 months and 62.1% were considered to be work related. Most common areas for chronic complaints were neck, back, and shoulders. Almost 50% of the urologists experienced chronic musculoskeletal complaints, for which endourology (odds ratio [OR] 3.06; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.37-6.80) and laparoscopy (OR 1.70; 95% CI 1.27-2.28) were significant risk factors. One third of the urologists considered their knowledge about ergonomics minimal, and 8% stated that they had no knowledge about these topics. Fifty percent of the respondents preferred to integrate information about ergonomic rules into hands-on training of urologic skills. Conclusion: High prevalence of experienced musculoskeletal complaints was found among urologists predominantly related to endourology and laparoscopy. Urologists indicate that they have a lack of knowledge about ergonomics in the operating room. Hence, we recommend integration of ergonomics in hands-on training programs early in the residency curriculum to gain knowledge and awareness and hopefully to offer possibilities to prevent these complaints in the future.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)605-611
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Endourology
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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