Pre-employment physical capacity testing as a predictor of musculoskeletal injury in Victorian paramedics

Journal article

Jenkins, Natasha, Smith, Gavin, Stewart, Scott and Kamphuis, Catherine. (2021). Pre-employment physical capacity testing as a predictor of musculoskeletal injury in Victorian paramedics. Work. 70(1), pp. 263-270.
AuthorsJenkins, Natasha, Smith, Gavin, Stewart, Scott and Kamphuis, Catherine

BACKGROUND:Paramedic work has periods of intermittent high physical demand, a risk of workplace injury, may be confounded by inherent fitness of the paramedic. OBJECTIVE:This study aimed to identify the nature of workplace musculoskeletal injury, and determine if there was a relationship between pre-employment physical capacity testing (PEPCT) scores and risk of workplace musculoskeletal injury within the paramedic industry. METHODS:A retrospective case review using PEPCT scores and workplace injury (WI) manual handling data collected from 2008 to 2015 by an Australian pre-hospital emergency care provider (Ambulance Victoria), enabled comparison and analysis of two distinct data sets. RESULTS:A total of 538 paramedics were included for analysis with 34 paramedics reporting a workplace musculoskeletal injury from manual handling. The mean time to injury from commencement of employment was 395.4 days (SD 516.2). Female paramedics represented 53.0%and male paramedics represented 47%of the sample. Mean total PEPCT score for the entire sample was 19.1 (SD 2.9) with a range from 16.2–22, while for those reporting injuries it was 18.3 (SD 2.6) with a range from 15.7–20.9. CONCLUSIONS:Musculoskeletal injury amongst Victorian paramedics is more prevalent where the paramedic is female, and/or within three years of commencement of employment. The PEPCT score did not differentiate those at risk of subsequent injury.

Keywordsworkplace injury; prehospital emergency health care; predictive assessment
Journal citation70 (1), pp. 263-270
PublisherIOS Press
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85116360567
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range263-270
Publisher's version
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online28 Sep 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted01 Nov 2020
Deposited25 May 2022
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