Prevalence of low back pain among health care providers

Dr. Bandar Al Agl

Security Forces Hospital Program – Riyadh

 
Background: Low back pain (LBP) is a relatively ignored but highly prevalent clinical condition in adult population especially those working in some professions including health care. A number of risk factors are associated with the development of this condition, most of which are related to job.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of LBP among health care providers in a security forces hospital – one of the largest Health institute in Riyadh, and to identify the risk factors associated with the LBP in this population.

Methods: It was a descriptive analytical cross sectional study involving 322 health care providers at Security Forces Hospital, Riyadh. Sample population was selected through stratified random sampling technique. Data about characteristics of LBP and various risk factors and demographic features was collected through structured question.

Results: Low back pain was reported by 75% of the health care workers (HCWs). Most of them (87.4%) developed LBP after starting their job and 71.4% reported that the LBP was related to their work. Lifting objects, bad body postures and lack of knowledge about LBP were found to be significantly associated (p value = 0.001, 0.002 and 0.001 respectively) with LBP. Other risk factors were not associated with LBP significantly.

Conclusions: Self-reported low back pain was found highly frequent among healthcare workers. Practice regarding getting diagnosis and seeking modern treatment was found to be suboptimal. Significantly associated risk factors included lifting the objects or the patients, bad postures and lack of knowledge about lower back pain.

Key words: health care workers, prevalence, low back pain, risk factors

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