Impact of a simulation-based ergonomics training curriculum on work-related musculoskeletal injury risk in colonoscopy

Published:March 20, 2020DOI:

      Background and Aims

      Endoscopists are at risk of developing musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs), and few receive training on ergonomics. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of a simulation-based ergonomics training curriculum (ETC) on work-related MSI risk during clinical colonoscopy.


      Novice endoscopists underwent a simulation-based ETC and were compared with an historical control group who received simulation-based training without ergonomics training. The ETC included a didactic lecture and video on ergonomics in colonoscopy, feedback from supervisors on ergonomics, and an ergonomics checklist to augment feedback and promote self-reflection. Participants were assessed using the rapid entire body assessment (REBA) and rapid upper limb assessment (RULA). The primary outcome was participants’ REBA scores during 2 clinical colonoscopies 4 to 6 weeks after training.


      In clinical colonoscopy, the ETC group had superior REBA scores (clinical procedure 1: median score, 6 vs 11; P < .001; clinical procedure 2: median score, 6 vs 10; P < .001). In a simulated colonoscopy, the ETC group did not have significantly different REBA or RULA scores between baseline, immediately after training, and 4 to 6 weeks after (REBA: median scores of 5, 5, and 5, respectively; P > .05; RULA: median scores of 6, 6, and 6, respectively; P > .05). The control group had worsening REBA and RULA scores during the study timeline (REBA: median scores of 5 at baseline, 9 immediately after training, and 9 at 4-6 weeks after training; P < .001; RULA: median scores of 6, 7, and 7, respectively; P = .04) during simulated procedures.


      A simulation-based ETC is associated with reduced risk of MSI during endoscopy. Although the REBA score was improved, the intervention group was still within the medium-risk range.

      Graphical abstract


      ETC (ergonomics training curriculum), MSI (musculoskeletal injury), REBA (rapid entire body assessment), RULA (rapid upper limb assessment)
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