Annual Scientific Meeting
Introduction: Endoscopy- related injury (ERI) is common in gastroenterologists. This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of self-reported ERI, patterns of injury and knowledge of ergonomic strategies in endoscopists who are ACG physician members.
Methods: A 38-item survey was developed and initially piloted at three academic medical centers. Through the ACG Women in GI Committee and ACG Governing Board sponsorship, the survey was administered to ACG physician members. Statistical analysis was performed using SAS Enterprise Guide 7.0 (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC); chi-square tests and descriptive analysis evaluating associations between multiple variables and ERI.
Results: Of the 14759 total surveys sent, 5940 were opened, and only completed surveys were included (n=1133). ERI was reported by 71% of the respondents including 49% of trainees. More than half of the respondents reported pain in the thumbs (64%), hand/fingers (59%), neck (57%), and lower back (54 %). The most common causes of ERI reported were torqueing with the right hand (64%), adjusting tip angulation with left hand (53%), standing for prolonged periods of time (59%), and standing in awkward positions while supporting an endoscope (58 %). While no differences were noted in characteristics associated with overall ERI, including sex (p = 0.77), performance of interventional endoscopy or a focus in another GI domain (p = 0.55) women were more likely to have upper extremity pain and upper back pain (see Table 2). There were statistically significant differences between genders in the mechanisms of ERI (see Table 3). Most respondents did not receive training during fellowship (68%), or discuss ergonomic strategies in their current practice (63%). Those without training in ergonomics were more likely to report ERI (p = 0.02). 81 % of respondents noted a desire for more training in ergonomic strategies to reduce ERI.
Discussion: The results of this study show an overwhelming occurrence of ERI in all GI physicians and in nearly half of the trainee respondents. Preliminary analysis shows a significant difference between men and women with regards to specific areas of ERI and contributing mechanisms. Results strongly support training and a desire for continued education in ergonomic strategies as a preventative strategy. Education and prevention of ERI represent rich opportunities for improving key aspects of clinical practice, reducing burden on physicians, and decreasing interruptions to clinical care.