Objective: Rheumatic diseases are prevalent conditions around the world, but precise information is not easily obtainable in developing countries. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of musculoskeletal complaints in the community in Cuba using the ILAR/COPCORD core questionnaire and published methodologies.
Methods: The ILAR/COPCORD core questionnaire was administered in the form of a home survey to 300 adult subjects. Cases, defined as those with present pain and no trauma, underwent a physical examination and selected laboratory or X ray evaluations.
Results: The questionnaire was filled out in a mean time of 8 minutes. Ninety-one subjects had present musculoskeletal pain not related to trauma and 83 had had pain in the past. The most frequently affected regions were the lower back (14%); cervical spine (14%); knee (11.5%) and shoulders (10%). Osteoarthritis was the most common diagnosis (19.6%). A total of 166 subjects sought professional help; 56 were treated by a rheumatologist. Most subjects were satisfied with the results of their medical treatment.
Conclusions: Musculoskeletal symptoms were prevalent in this community. A larger study will be necessary to obtain a better estimate of diagnoses with a low prevalence.