A recent study led by Kari Dunning, PhD,
assistant professor in the UC Department of Environmental Health and
the College of Allied Health Sciences/Department of Rehabilitation
Sciences, found that one in four pregnant women experience falls during
pregnancy. The study was published in the December issue of theAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicineand is the first of its kind to report on the high prevalence of falls during pregnancy.
The article, titled “Falls in workers
during pregnancy: Risk factors, job hazards, and high risk
occupations”, looks at the incidence of falls in employed pregnant
Of the 2,847 pregnant women surveyed, 757
of them, or 26.6 percent, experienced falls during pregnancy. More than
six percent of the falls were experienced at work. The majority of
these work-related falls were a result of slippery floors, hurrying, or
“Research is needed to study the effects of intervention to prevent falls and injury during pregnancy,” Dr. Dunning said.
Workplace interventions that should be
used include reducing slippery floors for food service workers,
removing clutter for nurses, and encouraging supportive footwear for
women who work in sales, management, and other professional jobs.
Another area for further research is to see if counseling pregnant
women on safety and balance issues would help reduce falls.
This study represents a unique
collaboration between the Hamilton County Health Department and the
Cincinnati Health Department. Future collaborations may include work on
an intervention program for local businesses.
Dr. Dunning presented the results of her study at =an international conference in Barcelona, Spain.