Mammography equipment design: impact on radiographers’ practice
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Objectives: Identify radiographers’ postures during frequent mammography procedures related to the mammography equipment and patient characteristics. Methods: A postural task analysis was performed using images acquired during the simulation of mammography positioning procedures. Simulations included craniocaudal/(CC) and mediolateral-oblique/(MLO) positioning in three different settings: radiographers and patients with similar statures, radiographers smaller than the patients and radiographers taller than the patients. Measurements of postural angles were performed by two raters using adequate software and classified according to the European Standard EN1005-4:2005 + A1:2008. Results: The simulations revealed that the most awkward posture in mammography is during the positioning of MLO projection in short-stature patients. Postures identified as causing work-related musculoskeletal disorder (WRMSD) risk were neck extension, arms elevated and the back stooped, presenting angles of 87.2, 118.6 and 63.6, respectively. If radiographers were taller than patients, then the trunk and arm postures were not acceptable. Conclusions: Working in a mammography room leads to awkward postures that can have an impact on radiographers’ health, namely WRMSDs. The results in this study showed that there are non-acceptable postures associated with frequent working procedures in mammography. MLO is the most demanding procedure for radiographer postures and may be related to WRMSDs. Mammography devices should be redesigned considering adjustability for radiographers.
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