This study aims to determine whether pre-employment medical, physical or psychological assessments can predict future back, neck and shoulder musculoskeletal injuries and claims in an Australian ambulance service. This was a retrospective observational study based on linked datasets. Poisson regression analysis was undertaken to determine which pre-employment personality traits, using the Fifteen Factor Questionnaire and 36 medical and functional capacity evaluation variables, predicted the number of injuries and claims in ambulance officers. Ambulance officers who at pre-employment assessment demonstrated more conceptual, intuitive and anxious personality traits, and those ambulance officers who had hypermobile joints, self-limited weights lifted, played less sport or exercised less, were more likely to sustain future back, neck or shoulder musculoskeletal injuries or submit workers compensation claims. Individual pre-employment risk factors were found to predict musculoskeletal injuries and claims in a cohort of ambulance officers. Anxious as opposed to stable personality types and conceptual rather than practical personality types appear to be at greater risk of an injury or submitting a claim, as were recruits with hypermobile joints. Identification of individual risk factors at recruitment may assist in the selection of suitable applicants into the ambulance service as well as providing a focus for career counseling where relevant.
- Risk factors