Prevalence and risk factors associated with low back pain among health care providers in a Kuwait hospital

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2008 Mar 1;33(5):539-45. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181657df7.


Study design: A cross-sectional survey among health professionals working in a Kuwait hospital.

Objective: To investigate the prevalence and factors associated with low back pain (LBP).

Summary of background data: The literature suggests that health professionals are exposed to occupational risk factors that predispose them to developing LBP. These rates are not well established in Middle Eastern countries such as Kuwait.

Methods: A self-administered survey was conducted with health professionals in an urban orthopedic hospital.

Results: The response rate to the survey was 60% (n = 344). Lifetime prevalence of LBP in the sample was 70.9%, and point prevalence of LBP was 21.5%. Factors associated with acute LBP included direct patient contact (P = 0.015), performing patient lifts and/or transfers (P = 0.016), low job satisfaction (P = 0.039), and poor self-reported health status (P = 0.019). The prevalence ratio (PR) of reporting acute LBP was also found to increase as a function of the number of daily lifts/transfers performed (PR: 1.4; 95% CI: 1.27 to 1.70). Other factors generally associated with LBP, such as age, sex, professional experience, smoking and exercise, were not found to be significantly associated with LBP in this study.

Conclusion: No causal relationships can be inferred using these cross-sectional data. However, results suggest that direct patient contact that includes lifting and/or transferring patients may be an important risk factor. Further research is warranted to evaluate effectiveness of back education and prevention programs among hospital staff in Kuwait.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Personnel / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hospitals, Urban / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Kuwait / epidemiology
  • Lifting / adverse effects
  • Logistic Models
  • Low Back Pain / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors