Research: Healthcare

Healthcare work – physical stressors, other hazards, and intervention research:
(Page contents organized by topic, not date)

Veterinarians and Veterinary Technicians:

  • Seagren, K.E., Sommerich, C.M., Lavender, S.A., 2022. Musculoskeletal discomfort in veterinary healthcare professions. Work 71, 1007-1027.

Design of Hospital Patient Rooms:

2012-2017.  Improving patient room design for all users (NIOSH-sponsored project R01OH010181)

  • Lavender, S.A., Sommerich, C.M., Sanders, E.B.-N., Evans, K.D., Li, J., Radin Umar, R.Z., Patterson, E.S., 2019. Developing Evidence-Based Design Guidelines for Medical/Surgical Hospital Patient Rooms That Meet the Needs of Staff, Patients, and Visitors. Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 1-34.
  • Patterson, E.S., Sanders, E.B., Lavender, S.A., Sommerich, C.M., Park, S., Li, J., Evans, K.D., 2018. A Grounded Theoretical Analysis of Room Elements Desired by Family Members and Visitors of Hospitalized Patients: Implications for Medical/Surgical Hospital Patient Room Design. Health Environments Research & Design Journal 12, 124-144.
  • Evans, K.D., Sommerich, C.M., Sanders, E.B.-N., Patterson, E.S., Li, J., Lavender, S.A., 2018. Opportunities for Inpatient Room Designs That Facilitate Imaging Professionals in Providing Diagnostic Patient Care: A Mixed Methods Study. Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
  • Patterson, E.S., Sanders, E.B., Sommerich, C.M., Lavender, S.A., Li, J., Evans, K.D., 2017. Meeting Patient Expectations During Hospitalization: A Grounded Theoretical Analysis of Patient-Centered Room Elements. Health Environments Research & Design Journal 10, 95-110.
  • Lavender, S.A., Sommerich, C.M., Patterson, E.S., Sanders, B.-N., Evans, K.D., Park, S., Umar, R.Z.R., Li, J., 2015. Hospital patient room design:  the issues facing 23 occupational groups who work in medical/surgical patient rooms. Health Environment Research & Design Journal, 8, 98-114.
  • Sommerich, C.M., Pires, A., Lavender, S., Sanders, E.B.-N., Evans, K.D., Li, J., Patterson, E., 2016. Architects’ and interior designers’ perspectives on hospital patient rooms designed by the people who work in these rooms, The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting. The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Washington, DC, pp. 588-592.

Ultrasound scanning, Imaging Technologists, and Radiation Therapy Technologists:

2022-2024. Investigating an engineering control to reduce sonographer work-related injury (Ohio BWC-sponsored project)

2021-2023.  Documenting the overall wellness of ultrasound users and the risk of progressive work-related musculoskeletal injuries: A national, longitudinal research study.

2018-2021.  Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER) for simulation to clinical mastery in the use of ultrasound imaging (Sponsor:  Inteleos, PI, Dr. Kevin Evans, OSU SHRS).

  • Roll, S.C., Fukumura, Y.E., Sommerich, C.M., Stigall-Weikle, A.N., Evans, K.D., 2023. Cross-disciplinary Prevalence and Associated Factors for Work-Related Discomfort in Users of Ultrasonography: Implications for Sonography Professionals and Health Care Administrators. Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
  • Sommerich, C.M., 2022. Adopting a Sociotechnical Systems Perspective to Examine the Challenge of WRMSDs in Sonography. Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography 38, 1-4.
  • Evans, K.D., Sommerich, C.M., Bloom, I.W., Roll, S.C., Stigall-Weikle, A.N., 2022. The Value of Conducting a Longitudinal Study on Well-Being and Risk for Work-Related Musculoskeletal Injuries in Ultrasound Users. Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
  • Evans, K.D.; Sommerich, C.M.; Stigall-Weikle, A.N.; Stokes, A.D.; Klatt, M.D. (2021). Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders Among Radiographers: An Exploration of Self-reported Symptoms. Radiol Technol, 93 (2), 161-176.
  • Evans, K.D., Sommerich, C.M., Klatt, M.D., Griffin, H., Pan, X., 2019. Self-reported Symptoms of Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders Among Radiation Therapists. Radiation Therapist 28, 131-142.

2017-2019. Implementing a Series of Micro and Macro-ergonomic Interventions to Reduce Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (Sponsor:  Ohio BWC, PI, Dr. Kevin Evans, OSU SHRS).

The objective of the study is to reduce musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries and discomfort in Radiologic Technologists and Radiation Therapy Technologists through a proactive, context-specific intervention designed to be administered while the technologists are still in training, and which they can continue to use after entering the profession.

  • Klatt, M., Sommerich, C., Hausmann, M., Stigall, N., Evans, K., 2019. Reimagining the Imaging Professional. Radiology Management 41, 20-24.

2008-2015.  Designing musculoskeletal disorder interventions for imaging technologists (NIOSH-sponsored project R01OH009253)The goal of the study was to work with imaging technologists to develop interventions to improve their working conditions by reducing their occupational exposure to risk factors that lead to development of musculoskeletal discomfort and injury.  This line of research has continued beyond the duration of the sponsored project.

  • Sommerich, C. M., S. A. Lavender, K. D. Evans, E. B. Sanders, S. Joines, S. Lamar, R. Z. Radin Umar, W. T. Yen and S. Park (2020). “Collaborating with radiographers to address their work-related musculoskeletal discomfort.” Appl Ergon 85: 103069.
  • Sommerich, C.M., Lavender, S.A., Evans, K., Sanders, E., Joines, S., Lamar, S., Radin Umar, R.Z., Yen, W.-T., Park, S., 2019. Collaborating With Sonographers and Vascular Technologists to Develop Ergonomics Interventions to Address Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders. Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography 35, 23-37.
  • Sommerich, C.M., Lavender, S.A., Evans, K., Sanders, E., Joines, S., Lamar, S., Radin Umar, R.Z., Yen, W.T., Li, J., Nagavarapu, S., Dickerson, J.A., 2016. Collaborating with cardiac sonographers to develop work-related musculoskeletal disorder interventions. Ergonomics 59, 1193-1204.   [Read this paper.]
  • Sommerich, C.M., Lavender, S.A., Evans, K.D., Sanders, E., Joines, S., Lamar, S., Radin Umar, R.Z., Yen, W.T., Park, S., 2016. Collaborating with mammographers to address their work-related musculoskeletal discomfort. Ergonomics 59, 1307-1317.  [Read this paper.]
  • Sommerich, CM, Portable Seating for Echocardiographers, 2014.  Presented at the 17th Annual Applied Ergonomics Conference.
  • Sommerich, CM, Lavender, SA, Evans, K, Sanders, E.,  Joines, S., Radin Umar, RZ,  Park, SH, Lamar, S. Yen W-T., 2013, Participatory Ergonomics Applied to Radiographers’ Work,  Presented at the 2013 Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Heath Care.
  • Sommerich, CM, Lavender, SA, Sanders, E., Joines, S.,  Evans, K, Lamar, S., Yen W-T.,  Radin Umar, RZ,  2011.  Participatory Ergonomics Applied to Sonographers’ Work, 55th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Las Vegas.
  • Radin Umar, RZ,  Sommerich, CM, Evans, K, Lavender, SA, Sanders, E., Yen W-T.,  Joines, S., Lamar, S. 2011.  Ergonomic Interventional Design of an Articulating Arm for Echocardiography Application:  Front-End Design and Pilot Study, 55th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Las Vegas.
  • Sommerich CM, Lavender SA, Sanders EB-N, Lamar S, Evans K, Joines SMB, Yen W-T. 2010. Participatory ergonomics applied to mammographers’ work. Proceedings of The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 54rd Annual Meeting, San Francisco: The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

Home Healthcare:

2009-2023.  Various groupings of students and faculty from this lab, the Orthopaedic Ergonomics Laboratory, the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, and the College of Nursing have participated in and collaborated on research in this area.

Some portions of this research were supported, in part, by a grant from the Center for Clinical & Translational Science at OSU.  Some student support was provided through our NIOSH Training Grants (T01 OH008847*, T03 OH008847**).  A grant to support the development of occupational safety training for home health care workers, using virtual simulation, was awarded in 2013 (R01 10425; PI-Dr. Barbara Polivka, U. of Louisville).  The line of research is also supported by a grant from the Ohio Occupational Safety and Health Research Program (2019-2021) and an NSF grant through the Center for Disruptive Musculoskeletal Innovations (CDMI).  Visit our ‘At Home Care’ website to learn more.

  • Amini Pay**, N., Sommerich, C.M., Lavender, S.A., 2021. Assessment of alternative methods for informal caregivers to perform patient repositioning tasks. Applied Ergonomics 93.  [Read this paper.]
  • Polivka, B.J., Anderson, S., Lavender, S.A., Sommerich, C.M., Stredney, D.L., Wills, C.E., Darragh, A.R., 2019. Efficacy and Usability of a Virtual Simulation Training System for Health and Safety Hazards Encountered by Healthcare Workers. Games Health J 8, 121-128.
  • Wills, CE, Polivka, BJ, Darragh, AR, Lavender, SA, Sommerich, CM, Stredney, D (2016), “Making do” decisions:  how home healthcare personnel manage their exposure to home hazards, Western Journal of Nursing Research, 38, 411-426.   [Read this paper.]
  • Darragh, A.R., Lavender, S., Polivka, B., Sommerich, C.M., Wills, C.E., Hittle, B.A., Chen, R., Stredney, D.L., 2016. Gaming Simulation as Health and Safety Training for Home Healthcare Workers. Clinical Simulation in Nursing 12, 328-335.   [Read this paper.]
  • Polivka, BJ, Wills, CE, Darragh, AR, Lavender, SA, Sommerich, CM, Stredney, D (2015), Environmental health and safety hazards experienced by home healthcare providers:  a room-by-room analysis, Workplace Health & Safety, 63, 512-522; quiz 523.   [Read this paper.]
  • Darragh, A. R., Sommerich, C. M., Lavender, S. A., Tanner, K. J., Vogel, K., & Campo, M. (2013). Musculoskeletal discomfort, physical demand and caregiving activities in informal caregivers. Journal of Applied Gerontology, epub ahead of print.   [Read this paper.]
  • Czuba*, L. R., Sommerich, C. M., & Lavender, S. A. (2012). Ergonomic and Safety Risk Factors in Home Health Care:  Assessment and exploration of alternative interventions. Work, 42(3), 341-353.

EMS Providers: task and ambulance cot design improvement research

2022-2024.  R2P Field Test of the EMS LiftKit: Validating usability, usefulness, desirability, and effects on musculoskeletal injuries in EMS providers (Ohio BWC-funded project)

2016-2020.  Through support from an Ohio BWC grant (2016-2018), we worked with firefighters and paramedics to review current methods for handling heavy patients, identify best practices, and develop new methods that will reduce the risk of overexertion-related injury to paramedics and firefighters when performing these physically stressful tasks.  This line of research continues with field trials of promising interventions.

  • Lavender, S.A., Sommerich, C.M., Bigelow, S., Weston, E.B., Seagren, K., Amini Pay, N., Sillars, D., Ramachandran, V., Sun, C., Xu, Y., Marras, W.S., 2020. A biomechanical evaluation of potential ergonomic solutions for use by firefighter and EMS providers when lifting heavy patients in their homes. Appl Ergon 82, 102910.

2010-2012.  Students and faculty from this lab and the Orthopaedic Ergonomics Laboratory have conducted biomechanical analyses to determine effects of ambulance cot designs on EMS workers, while loading and unloading cots from a simulated ambulance. The research was supported, in part, by industrial grants.

  • Sommerich, C. M., Lavender, S. A., Radin Umar, R. Z., Li, J., Park, S., & Dutt, M. (2015). A biomechanical and subjective comparison of two powered ambulance cots, Ergonomics,  58, 1885-1896.
  • Sommerich, C. M., Lavender, S. A., Radin Umar, R. Z., Park, S., Li, J., & Dutt, M. (2013). Powered Ambulance Cots:  Effects of design differences on muscle activity and subjective perceptions of operators. Paper presented at the 2013 International Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, San Diego.
  • Sommerich, C. M., Lavender, S. A., Radin Umar, R. Z., Le, P., Mehta, J., Ko, P. L., Farfan, R., Dutt, M., Park, S. (2012) A biomechanical and subjective assessment and comparison of three ambulance cot design configurations. Ergonomics, 55(11), 1350-1361.