An Interpreter's Interpretation: Sign Language Interpreters' View of Musculoskeletal Disorders
UNIFORMED SERVICES UNIV OF THE HEALTH SCIENCES BETHESDA MD DEPT OF MEDICAL AND CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY
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Sign language interpreters are at increased risk for musculoskeletal disorders. This study used content analysis to obtain detailed information about these disorders from the interpreters point of view. Risk factors for the initiation andor exacerbation of symptoms included the following type of job or task, such as long work hours with few or no breaks, transliterating, finger spelling, tactile interpreting, and educational interpreting interpreting style, such as poor body posture, tensing muscles, signing too forcefully job control, including the emotional and physical stress of the job, being overworked, and disliking the job ergonomic factors, such as poor seating or chair, standing while interpreting, temperature of the environment, and phone interpreting and external factors, such as outside-of-work activities that contributed to the muscle pain e.g., writing, typing, driving, carrying objects. Symptom management included self-care methods such as exercise, diet, and warm-up activities prior to interpreting. Coping strategies that were active, such as obtaining more control over ones work schedule, also were reported as helpful in alleviating symptoms. Additional management strategies included the use of complementary alternative medicine, the preventative use of exercise for upper extremity disorders, and the investigation of maximum exposure levels for interpreting situations. The results also highlight the need to investigate the clinical effectiveness of approaches such as acupuncture and the use of active coping behaviors in the prevention and management of these symptoms.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Stress Physiology