African Journal of Rheumatology

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Prevalence of low back pain and associated risk factors among nurses in National Hospital, Abuja, Nigeria

O Ojo, R Akintayo, I.M. Jibril, I.R. Okereke, P Adanegbe, N.A. Odoh, J.A. Quist, E.T. Emmanuel, F.H. Bello, A Sarki, P.C. Nwabufor


Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and associated risk factors of Low Back Pain (LBP) among nurses in National Hospital, Abuja, Nigeria.

Design: A cross-sectional study.

Methods: The study was carried out to determine the prevalence and risk factors for LBP among nurses in National Hospital, Abuja, Nigeria. A departmentto- department enquiry was conducted using a self-structured questionnaire.

Results: Two hundred and seventy three respondents who included 30 (11.0%) males and 243 (89.0%) females participated in the study. The mean age was 37.4+8.0 (37.8+7.5 years among the males and 37.4+8.1 years among the females. Results showed that 193 (70.7%) respondents were either overweight or obese and only 69 (25.3%) were of normal weight. The 12 month prevalence of low back pain was 72.1%. About 179 (80.0%) of the nurses attributed their low back pain to work related issues. The incidence of LBP was more among female nurses (129, 53.1%) than the male nurses (13, 43.3%).

Conclusion: Occupational exposure to factors constituting physical loads (frequently carrying patients, availability of porters) and a previous history of back trauma were significant independent predictors of low back pain among nurses. However, LBP was not a major cause of absenteeism from work.

Keywords: Low back pain, Risk factors, Prevalence, Nurses

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