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Due to the unpredictable, varied and often physical nature of law enforcement duties, police officers are at a high risk of work-related physical injury. The aim of this critical narrative review was to identify and synthesize key findings of studies that have investigated musculoskeletal injuries sustained by law enforcement officers during occupational tasks. A systematic search of four databases using key search terms was conducted to identify potentially relevant studies, which were assessed against key inclusion and exclusion criteria to determine studies to be included in the review. Included studies were critically appraised and the level of evidence determined. Relevant data were extracted, tabulated and synthesized. The 16 identified studies ranged in percentage quality scores from 25.00% to 65.00%, with a mean score of 41.25% and high interrater agreement in scores reflected in a Cohen's Kappa coefficient, κ = 0.977. The most common body site of injury was the upper extremity, the most common injury types were soft-tissue sprains and strains and the most common cause of injury was a non-compliant offender, often involving assault. However, there was limited peer reviewed research in this area and the published research had a narrow focus and was of low to fair methodological quality.
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