Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Nursing


Faculty of Health and Human Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Nancy Hudson-Rodd


Back injury has predominantly been a problem which has affected a large cross-section of nursing staff involved with direct patient care. While back injury prevention has been instituted in hospitals for sometime, the percentage of nurses with back injury remains high. Within a major teaching hospital, a ward in which nurses suffered a high rate of back injuries was identified. Through an action research approach the researcher (who worked in the same area as the participants) developed and implemented an individualized back injury prevention programme. The 4 criteria by which the study was measured included, a reduction of back injuries, worth of the programme, behavioural change and cognitive knowledge acquisition. The participants who were involved in the study demonstrated that individual back education has a positive effect upon reducing the injury rate of nurses' back injuries. The study also describes the importance of maintaining good communication skills and co-operation with the people involved or whose behaviour is being changed. Social Learning Theory was the framework from which the design and implementation of teaching was derived.