Annals of African Medicine
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 167-172

Prevalence and predictors of low back pain in a Southern Nigerian hospital

1 Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State, Nigeria
2 Department of Physiotherapy, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State, Nigeria
3 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Timothy Eyo Nottidge
Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aam.aam_59_18

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Background: Low back pain (LBP) is the most common musculoskeletal disease in adults. The data on LBP from Sub-Saharan Africa are inadequate. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and analyze the predictors of LBP among hospital staff in a Nigerian tertiary hospital. Materials and Methods: The study participants were recruited using an opt-in approach, with the aim of including representative numbers from each professional cadre. Each participant gave formal consent. Ethical clearance was obtained. Results: Five hundred and sixty-three participants with the mean age of 36.0 ± 8.3 years and 62% female were interviewed. The point prevalence of LBP was 234 (42% [95% confidence interval [CI]: 37%–45%]). Profession was a significant predictor of LBP (P = 0.001) – nurses (53% [95% CI 43%–63%]), administrative officers (49% [95% CI 40%–59%]), engineers (50% [95% CI 24%–76%]), and health information staff (50% [95% CI 26%–75%]) had the highest prevalence. In univariate regression, female gender, increasing age, body mass index ≥25 kg/m2, and frequently adopting a bending posture, were significantly associated with LBP, while in multivariate regression, only the female gender was a significant predictor. Conclusion: The pattern of both the professions at risk, due to the well-known mechanisms of poor ergonomics, and the marked risk for the female gender, in the hospital setting, suggest underresourced work and societal environments as the underlying factors-more research is needed.

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