Prediction Effects of Personal, Psychosocial, and Occupational Risk Factors on Low Back Pain Severity Using Artificial Neural Networks Approach in Industrial Workers

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This study aimed to provide an empirical model of predicting low back pain (LBP) by considering the occupational, personal, and psychological risk factor interactions in workers population employed in industrial units using an artificial neural networks approach.


A total of 92 workers with LBP as the case group and 68 healthy workers as a control group were selected in various industrial units with similar occupational conditions. The demographic information and personal, occupational, and psychosocial factors of the participants were collected via interview, related questionnaires, consultation with occupational medicine, and also the Rapid Entire Body Assessment worksheet and National Aeronautics and Space Administration Task Load Index software. Then, 16 risk factors for LBP were used as input variables to develop the prediction model. Networks with various multilayered structures were developed using MATLAB.


The developed neural networks with 1 hidden layer and 26 neurons had the least error of classification in both training and testing phases. The mean of classification accuracy of the developed neural networks for the testing and training phase data were about 88% and 96%, respectively. In addition, the mean of classification accuracy of both training and testing data was 92%, indicating much better results compared with other methods.


It appears that the prediction model using the neural network approach is more accurate compared with other applied methods. Because occupational LBP is usually untreatable, the results of prediction may be suitable for developing preventive strategies and corrective interventions.

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