Low Back Pain Among Nurses: A Review

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Low back pain (LBP) among nurses has been a well-known occupational health problem. This cross-sectional study is designed to investigate the rate of LBP in nurses working in different departments and to evaluate the relationship between psychologic factors and LBP. The general aspects of LBP were evaluated with Oswestry Low Back Pain and Disability Questionnaire and a 10 cm visual analog scale among 118 nurses. Psychologic state was evaluated with Beck Depression Inventory and Brief Symptom Inventory. Student t test for independent samples and χ2 test were used in univariate analysis. One-way analysis of variance was used to compare the parametric variables of 3 groups of nurses. The mean number of pain attacks was significantly higher among nurses working in Emergency/Intensive Care Unit (mean: 5.4) than those in Surgery department (mean 4.6) and in Internal Medicine Department (mean: 2.2), respectively, (P=0.031). The mean Beck Depression Inventory score of subjects with pain (mean: 9.8) was significantly higher than those without pain (mean: 5.6, P≤0.002). The mean Brief Symptom Inventory scores of depression, somatization, and hostility were significantly higher in subjects with pain than in subjects without pain (P=0.002; P=0.000; P=0.012, respectively). The subjects with back pain showed statistically significant higher rates of mild mood disturbance and depression (P=0.027). Further studies about the causes and associations of LBP among nurses are needed as the preventive measures can be undertaken.

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