OTCATS: Occupational Therapy Critically Appraised Topics
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Are hoists used effectively by carers to safely transfer people with physical disabilities?

Prepared by:

Susie Mullen,
Occupational therapist
Hills Therapy Service, Sydney


20 January 2003

Review Date:

January 2005

Clinical Question:

“Does the use of hoists reduce musculo-skeletal injuries amongst carers?”

Clinical Scenario:

Occupational therapists frequently prescribe hoists for carers to lift clients with a physical disability. During ongoing client appointments, it has been noted that hoists are not always used by carers (paid and unpaid) to lift clients. Reasons for this include time and space taken to set up and use the hoist and sling. Hoists are expensive pieces of equipment prescribed to ensure safe lifting and handling practises for both clients and their carers.

Clinical Bottom Line:

Carers using hoists to lift and transfer clients with physical disabilities will experience a reduction in client related low back injuries.

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