Repositioning a passive patient in bed: Choosing an ergonomically advantageous assistive device

Chava Weiner, Leonid Kalichman, Joseph Ribak, Deborah Alperovitch-Najenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Repositioning of passive patients in bed creates health risks to the nursing personnel. Therefore, appropriate assistive devices should be used. Our aim was to find the optimal assistive device for reducing musculoskeletal load while moving a passive patient in bed. Torso kinematic inputs evaluated by the Lumbar Motion Monitor (LMM) and perceived load (Borg scale) were measured in female nurses performing 27 patient transfers [represented by a mannequin weighing 55 (12 nurses), 65 (24 nurses) and 75 kg (12 nurses) in bed] using a regular sheet, a sliding sheet and a carrier. The lowest rates of perceived exertion were found when the sliding sheet and/or carrier were used, for all tasks (p ≤ 0.009). According to the predicted risk for Low Back Disorder (LBD) based on the LMM inputs, negligible differences between assistive devices were found. In a 75 kg mannequin, the participants were able to perform all tasks only by using a sliding sheet. Utilizing sliding sheets is an advantageous technique in comparison to traditional cotton sheets and even carriers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-29
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Ergonomics
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • Low back disorder risk model
  • Nursing
  • Repositioning
  • Sliding sheets
  • Work related musculoskeletal disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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