THE EFFECT OF WATER AS THE WORKING MEDIUM OF THE AQUATIC PHYSIOTHERAPIST- CONTROLLED STUDY
In this paper, we present the conditions of work among physical therapists working with hydrotherapy by considering the musculoskeletal symptoms (MS) and presence of water-related infections. In accordance with the STROBE guidelines, this case-control study enrolled 106 physical therapists of both genders, including 53 hydrotherapy group physical therapists (HG) and 53 control group physical therapists of other specialties (CG). The Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire for MS and questions on allergic respiratory were used only once. The non-parametric Chi-square independence test was used to verify the association of frequencies of MS and infection between HG and CG. The odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated. Significance level of 5% was adopted. HG had a greater chance of developing chronic symptoms in the neck (OR=2.75, CI=1.20-6.28, p=0.025) and shoulders (OR=9.6, CI=3.96-23.63, p<0.001), as well as acute symptoms in the neck (OR=3.5, CI=1.59-8.02, p=0.003) and shoulders (OR=13, CI=5.18-32.88, p<0.001). A higher percentage of respiratory tract infections was observed in HG (22.6%) than in CG (9.6%), p=0.089. Participants in HG present a greater chance of developing chronic or acute MS in the spine and upper limbs and a high percentage of respiratory infections.