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      Low Back Pain Among Nurses Working at Public Hospitals in Eastern Ethiopia

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          This study assessed the prevalence of low back pain and factors associated with it among nurses working at public hospitals in eastern Ethiopia.

          Materials and Methods

          Institutional-based cross-sectional study was conducted from February 1 to March 20, 2018 among randomly selected 404 nurses working in public hospitals of Harari region and Dire Dawa city administration. Six trained nurses collected the data through a self-administered data collection technique. All variables that yield p< 0.25 in bivariable logistic regression were subjects for multivariable logistic regression analysis. The direction and strength of statistical association were measured by odds ratio with the corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI). Finally, statistical significance was declared at p < 0.05.


          The 12-month prevalence of low back pain was 38.1% [95% CI: 32.7–42.7%]. It was more prevalent among females (65%). More than 5 years of work experience [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) =3.135; 95% CI (1.292–7.605)], manual lifting of weight >10kg [AOR=5.260; 95% CI (1.869–14.805)] and working in awkward posture [AOR=3.93; 95% CI (1.109–13.924)] were variables significantly associated with low back pain among nurses.


          About two in five nurses working at public hospitals in Harari region and Dire Dawa city administration were suffering from low back pain. So, tailored intervention is needed to prevent nurses from further injury and retain experienced nurses.

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          Most cited references 38

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          Low back pain: prevalence and associated risk factors among hospital staff.

          This paper is a report of a study conducted to describe the prevalence and risk factors for lower back pain amongst a variety of Turkish hospital workers including nurses, physicians, physical therapists, technicians, secretaries and hospital aides. Hospital workers experience more low back pain than many other groups, the incidence varies among countries. Work activities involving bending, twisting, frequent heavy lifting, awkward static posture and psychological stress are regarded as causal factors for many back injuries. A 44-item questionnaire was completed by 1600 employees in six hospitals associated with one Turkish university using a cross-sectional survey design. Data were collected over nine months from December 2005 to August 2006 and analysed using Chi square and multivariate logistic regression techniques. Most respondents (65.8%) had experienced low back pain, with 61.3% reporting an occurrence within the last 12 months. The highest prevalence was reported by nurses (77.1%) and the lowest amongst secretaries (54.1%) and hospital aides (53.5%). In the majority of cases (78.3%), low back pain began after respondents started working in the hospital, 33.3% of respondents seeking medical care for 'moderate' low back pain while 53.8% (n = 143) had been diagnosed with a herniated lumbar disc. Age, female gender, smoking, occupation, perceived work stress and heavy lifting were statistically significant risk-factors when multivariate logistic regression techniques were conducted (P < 0.05). Preventive measures should be taken to reduce the risk of lower back pain, such as arranging proper rest periods, educational programmes to teach the proper use of body mechanics and smoking cessation programmes.
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            Course of low back pain among nurses: a longitudinal study across eight years.

            To describe the course of low back pain (LBP) among nurses across eight years. A longitudinal study was performed with a follow up at 1 and 8 years among nurses employed by a large university hospital in Switzerland. A modified version of the Nordic Questionnaire was distributed to obtain information about demographic data, occupational activities, and various aspects of LBP. A clinical examination and several functional tests were used to overcome the problems associated with subjective pain reporting. Nurses having answered the questionnaire on all three occasions (n = 269) were classified into subgroups according to their pain intensity. For each subgroup the course of LBP was recorded. LBP was highly prevalent with an annual prevalence varying from 73% to 76%. A large percentage (38%) indicated the same intensity of LBP on all three occasions. The proportion of nurses reporting repeated increase of LBP (19%) was approximately as large as the proportion who complained about repeated decrease of LBP (17%). It became evident that LBP poses a persistent problem among nurses. Over an eight year period almost half of the nurses indicated the same intensity of LBP, thus supporting a recurrent rather than a progressive nature of LBP.
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              Prevalence and factors associated to low back pain among hospital staff.

              Because of its frequency and consequences on professional life, low back pain (LBP) represents a real health care problem. Our study is aimed at determining the prevalence of LBP among hospital staff, analyzing the medical and professional consequences as well as investigating into the factors associated to this health problem. We have conducted an inquiry among 350 employees at Fattouma Bourguiba teaching hospital. The employees have answered a pre-established questionnaire including 51 items. The cumulative life-prevalence was 57.7% of the cases. The annual prevalence was 51.1% of the cases. Chronic LBP prevalence was 12.8% of the cases. Medical care was required in 61.9% of the cases. Radiological explorations were performed in 45% of the cases. Sick leave was observed in 26.1% of the cases and an occupational change was necessary in two cases. Factors associated to LBP were age (P <0.01), female gender (P = 0.024), high BMI (P = 0.01), the fact of being married or divorced (P < 0.01), smoking (P = 0.016), past medical LBP history (P < 0.0001), extra professional activity (P < 0.01), migraine (P < 0.001), years' service (P = 0.007) as well as heavy weight lifting (P = 0.008). Exercise is rather a protecting factor against LBP (P = 0.019). The prevalence of LBP among hospital staff as well as the socio-professional drawbacks is important. Many factors are associated to LBP urging medical teams to take some preventive measures to reduce this affliction.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                08 June 2020
                : 13
                : 1349-1357
                [1 ]School of Nursing and Midwifery, College of Health and Medical Sciences, Haramaya University , Harar, Ethiopia
                [2 ]Department of Nursing, College of Health and Medical Sciences, Meda Welabu University , Bale-Robe, Ethiopia
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Sagni Girma Fage School of Nursing and Midwifery, College of Health and Medical Sciences, Haramaya University , P.O. Box 235, Harar, Ethiopia, Tel +251 919231902 Email giruu06@gmail.com
                © 2020 Mijena et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Tables: 6, References: 48, Pages: 9
                Haramaya University has provided financial support for this study. We declare that the funding body has no role in the designing of the study, in the collection, analysis and interpretation of the data, in the writing of this manuscript and in the decision to submit for publication.
                Original Research

                Anesthesiology & Pain management

                eastern ethiopia, public hospitals, nurses, low back pain


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