Poster Session
Issue Date: July 01, 2015
Published Online: February 09, 2016
Updated: January 01, 2020
Investigating the Effect of Caregiver Height and Body Mass Index When Completing a Pivot Transfer
Author Affiliations
  • Bowling Green, Ohio
  • The University of Toledo
Article Information
Advocacy / Education of OTs and OTAs / Musculoskeletal Impairments / Prevention and Intervention
Poster Session   |   July 01, 2015
Investigating the Effect of Caregiver Height and Body Mass Index When Completing a Pivot Transfer
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911515164.
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911515164.

Date Presented 4/17/2015

This study investigates the forces required when transferring a patient using different caregiver physical heights and body mass indexes (BMI) combined with different patient heights and BMIs. Results may lead to better clinical reasoning when handling patients.

SIGNIFICANCE: Occupational therapists have a role as health care professionals to incorporate safe patient handling (SPH) into their practice. SPH provides an effective way to move patients, making it a critical component essential for occupational therapy practitioners. This study aims to contribute and identify safer strategies when transferring a patient on the basis of the relative height and body mass index (BMI) of the patient and caregiver.
INNOVATION: SPH strategies in occupational therapy curricula should be emphasized to a greater extent, as occupational therapists continue to be at risk for incurring injury due to patient handling. Several factors that are contributing to injury are surfacing through research. Factors that may have a role in affecting the transfer of a patient include physical height and BMI. With continued research, it can be determined whether these factors play a role in the musculoskeletal injuries associated with transferring in occupational therapy practice. The findings may be able to contribute to safer patient handling practice.
APPROACH: Work-related musculoskeletal disorders have been an increasing problem among health care workers who handle and move patients. The high incidence rate of musculoskeletal injuries has prompted research specific to patient-handling tasks. The first hypothesis is that there will be a significant difference in the forces required to transfer a patient depending on the disparity in physical height between the caregiver and the patient. The second hypothesis is that the forces involved in performing a manual pivot transfer will be greater when encountering higher BMIs compared to lower BMIs.
METHOD: This research will be conducted at a motion capture laboratory at the sponsoring university. A total of 50 participants will be recruited through advertisement fliers. Participants will be pivot transferred two times by two different investigators. He or she will be randomly assigned to an order of presentation group, and each pivot transfer will be total assist.
The participant will be able to gauge the amount of weight that he or she is bearing through the force plate by watching a display monitor. Two force plates will be used to capture ground reaction forces for both the caregiver and patient, respectively. Hand force is measured by two handheld force gauges. Hand forces and compression as well as shear forces will be calculated for the caregivers when pivot transferring the patient.
The heights and BMIs of the participants will be regressed with the associated forces during the transfer. Additionally, repeated measures analyses of variance (ANOVAs) will be used to analyze the difference between heights and BMIs, respectively, on the associated forces.
RESULTS: During preliminary data collection with an n = 9, BMI ratios and height ratios were analyzed with hand force when completing a pivot transfer. Ratios were defined as the caregiver’s value (BMI or height) divided by the patient’s value. A regression showed a p value of .05 for BMI ratio and a p value of .82 for height ratio.
CONCLUSION: These data suggest that BMI ratio could be a factor in the forces required to pivot transfer a patient. The data also lead to the indication that height ratio is not a significant factor in the forces required to transfer a patient. A comprehensive data analysis will be completed after data collection has been completed to substantiate these preliminary findings.