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Title: Systematic literature review of adverse reproductive outcomes associated with physiotherapists' occupational exposures to non-ionising radiation
Authors: Shah, SGS
Farrow, A
Keywords: Electrotherapy;Non-ionising radiation;Occupational exposure;Physical therapist;Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields;Therapeutic physiotherapistsdiathermy
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Japan Society for Occupational Health
Citation: Journal of Occupational Health, 2014, 56 (5), pp. 323 - 331
Abstract: Objectives: To review empirical research on adverse health and pregnancy outcomes associated with physiotherapists' occupational exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF EMFs) from shortwave (SWD) and microwave (MWD) diathermy devices. Methods: A systematic review of peer reviewed literature published from 1990 to 2010 in the English language searched in eight online bibliographic databases: CINAHL, EBSCOhost, ISI Web of Knowledge, Medline, OSH UPDATE, PubMed Central, ScienceDirect, and Scopus. Results: Findings suggest that physiotherapists' occupational exposure to SWD was statistically significantly associated with delayed time to pregnancy (>6 months), still birth, altered gender ratio (low ratio of boys to girls), congenital malformations and low birth weight (<2,500 g) among physiotherapists' offspring. Physiotherapists' exposure to MWD was also found to be statistically significantly associated with spontaneous abortion. However, causal mechanisms for these statistical associations are unknown. The present systematic review has found these adverse reproductive outcomes and health effects associations with RF EMFs from therapeutic diathermy devices to be inconsistent. Conclusions: A number of studies did not find statistically significant results to replicate associations with such adverse outcomes, and therefore further research, preferably prospective studies of cohorts of physiotherapists, is warranted.
Description: This article is available through open access and can be accessed at the link below.
ISSN: 1341-9145
Appears in Collections:Dept of Clinical Sciences Research Papers

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