Nigerian Journal of Orthopaedics and Trauma

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Prevalence and Risk Factors of Low Back Pain among Nurses in Africa: Nigerian and Ethiopian specialized Hospitals survey.

L Sikiru, H Shmaila, A Austin, M Subramanian


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors for low back pain (LBP) among nurses in two typical African Specialized Hospitals.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study designed to determine the prevalence and risk factors for LBP among nurses at Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital [MMSH]), Nigeria and Jimma University Specialized Hospital [JUSH]) in Ethiopia. A department-to-department enquiry was conducted using a self structured valid and reliable questionnaire. Simple percentage (%) and Chi square were used to analyze variables of interest.
Results: Five hundred and eight respondents (178 [35%] males and 330 [65%] females) participated in the study. The 12 month prevalence of low back pain (LBP) was 360 (70.87%). LBP was more prevalent among female nurses (76.07%) than the male nurses (59.55%). It was also associated with occupational hazard and poor knowledge of back care ergonomics. The prevalence of LBP was highest among nurses in Obstetrics and Gynecology Unit (26.67%) and least among tutors (4.17%). There was no significant difference between Nigerian and Ethiopian nurses' response in the etiology of LBP. However, there was a significant association
between gender, knowledge of back-care ergonomics and prevalence of LBP at p< 0.05. The prevalence of LBP at MMSH (Nigeria) and JUSH (Ethiopia) is comparable to levels recorded outside Africa. However, in this study, LBP did not feature as a major cause of sickness or absence from the work place contrary to those reported outside Africa.

Keywords: Low back pain; nurses; ergonomics; Nigeria;
AJOL African Journals Online