Proceedings of the

The 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023)
3 – 8 September 2023, Southampton, UK

Workload of Rehabilitation Healthcare Personnel When Assisted by a Robot

Maren H. Rø Eitrheim1, Magnhild Kaarstad2, Linda Sørensen3 and Karolina Berg4

1Humans and Automation, Institute for Energy Technology, Norway.

2Human-Centred Digitalization, Institute for Energy Technology, Norway.

3Sunnaas Rehabilitation Hospital / University of Agder, Norway.

4Institute for Energy Technology, Norway.


The current study investigated how a human-like robot, EVE, can be applied in healthcare services to support personnel in their daily tasks. The focus of the current study was staff workload, since high workload may have adverse impacts on patient safety, job satisfaction and turnover. We conducted a small-scale study with eight participants in a rehabilitation hospital in Norway. The participants were asked to perform professional tasks and pick-up tasks in a simulated setting. In one condition they were assisted by EVE for the pick-up tasks, and in the other condition they performed the pick-up tasks themselves. The findings indicated that when assisted by EVE, the healthcare personnel experienced reduced workload and improved performance. They also reported less time pressure and a possibility to perform tasks with less interruptions and better quality when assisted by the robot. When the healthcare personnel did not have support from the robot, they spent a considerable amount of time outside the patient room, as they needed to fetch the necessary equipment themselves. In the current study, minimal interaction between healthcare workers and the robot was required. Future studies may expand interaction tasks or make them more complex to investigate safe interaction and user acceptance including both staff and patients.

Keywords: NASA-TLX, Robotics, Nurses, Physiotherapists, Occupational therapists, Rehabilitation hospital.

Download PDF