Myths and facts about safe patient handling in rehabilitation.

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

Winter 1-1-2008


Rehabilitation nursing : the official journal of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses






Activities of Daily Living; Attitude of Health Personnel; Cooperative Behavior; Equipment and Supplies, Hospital; Ergonomics; Evidence-Based Medicine; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Humans; Incidence; Interprofessional Relations; Lifting; Musculoskeletal Diseases; Nursing Evaluation Research; Occupational Diseases; Occupational Health; Organizational Objectives; Outcome Assessment (Health Care); Patient Care Team; Physical Therapy Modalities; Prevalence; Rehabilitation Nursing; Safety Management; Severity of Illness Index


As the incidence of injuries associated with patient-handling tasks remains high in the rehabilitation community, interdisciplinary discussions on optimal methods for preventing injuries and ensuring good care continue. A national task force consisting of representatives from the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses, the American Physical Therapy Association, and the Veterans Health Administration identified myths that have been promulgated on both sides of the discussion, focusing especially on rehabilitation practices. The purpose of this article is to dispel these myths by using evidence-based methods. Evidence should be applied in discussions of safe patient handling, and although concern about patient outcomes is critical, there is no evidence that the use of patient-handling technology undermines rehabilitation goals and strong evidence that these practices enhance the safety of rehabilitation care providers. Further research on the impact of safe patient-handling practices on rehabilitation goals and continued communication between rehabilitation providers are recommended.

Peer Reviewed


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