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Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

First Advisor

Jay Salzman, BS, PT

Second Advisor

John Medeiros, PhD, PT


This study reveals how a group of workers perceive the effectiveness of back support belts, how they are implemented in selected industries, and how they effect the lifting styles of those who wear them. A close-ended questionnaire was distributed to 150 workers who have worn the belts at least six months and who were at the time employed on a full-time basis. Seventy questionnaires were completed from individuals in the greater Portland metropolitan area. The results show that the majority of workers believe that 1) back support belts are efective in preventing back injuries; 2) back support belts increase their lifting awareness; 3) back support belts change how they lift; 4) they do not lift more weight with the belts on, than they would lift without them and; 5) that wearing the back support belt does not make the workers stronger. The data was analyzed using percentages to describe the central tendencies (mode) of all occupations combined and Chi-squares to determine significant differences between the separate occupations. The level of significance used was 0.05. The data showed that workers in the sample occupations studied perceive back support belts to be an effective tool in the prevention of back injuries.


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