Prevalence and risk factors of low back pain among nurses working at Tikur Anbessa specialized hospital and Zewditu memorial hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: A cross-sectional study
Low back pain (LBP) is a common cause of morbidity in the general public as well as the healthcare professionals. The lifetime prevalence of LBP among nurses is high. There is limited information about the problem among nurses working in hospitals in Ethiopia. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and risk factors of LBP among nurses working at Zewditu Memorial (ZMH) and Tikur Anbessa Specialized hospitals (TASH), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
A cross-sectional study including randomly selected nurses currently working in the above two hospitals was conducted using a structured self-administered questionnaire.
Among 316 nurses (123 [38.9%] males and 193 [61.1%] females), the 12-month prevalence of LBP was 46.5% with a slightly higher prevalence among female nurses (50.3%). The significant risk factors were long working hours [AOR=.001, 95%CI: 3.353 (1.632-6.887)], poor body posturing [AOR = .000, 95%CI: 4.080 (2.191-7.601)], direct patient contact [AOR = 0.004, 95%CI: 4.168 (1.566-11.097)] and history of trauma [AOR= .001, 95%CI: 15.783 (3.038-82.007)]. Only 13 (8.8%) nurses reported severe LBP. Chronic LBP accounted for 83.7% of cases. Only 63 (42.9%) nurses sought medical treatment. Forty-nine (27.1%) nurses had been on medical leave at one time or another in the past one year and the total work days lost were 427.
A number of different factors increased the risk of LBP which can decrease the day to day effectiveness and job satisfaction of nurses and affect the quality of their lives as well as patient care.
Keywords: back-pain, nursing, occupational hazard, lost work days
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