Work environment of dental hygienists

Theodore Yee, Lori Crawford, Philip Harber

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objective: We sought to evaluate how musculoskeletal disorders and workplace psychosocial factors affect dental hygienists' work hours and productivity. Methods: We mailed a survey to dental hygienists in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, California. Results: Musculoskeletal pain caused 27% of hygienists to decrease work hours and 8.7% to change office locations. Hand/wrist pain caused the most missed workdays. Conversely, conflicts with the dentist caused 28.2% of dental hygienists to change jobs and 12.7% to decrease work hours. Conflicts with staff caused 17.1% to change office locations but only 7.0% to decrease work hours. This pattern was confirmed with multiple logistic regression analyses. Conclusions: Musculoskeletal and psychosocial factors affect dental hygienists differently: musculoskeletal discomfort is more likely to cause dental hygienists to decrease their working hours, whereas professional and social conflicts are more likely to lead to change in work location.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-639
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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