Prevalence and associated factors of musculoskeletal pain among the dental personnel in a dental school

J Med Assoc Thai. 2010 Jun;93(6):714-21.


Objective: To study the prevalence and associated factors of musculoskeletal (MS) pain among the dental personnel. In addition, impacts and treatment of MS pain were reported.

Material and method: Random sampling of 390 participants from the name lists of dental personnel working in each department. Self-administered questionnaires were equally distributed to three groups of dental personnel namely clinical instructors, postgraduate students, and dental assistants. The present study was conducted as a survey in the Faculty of Dentistry, Mahidol University, Bangkok between December 2008 and January 2009.

Results: Three hundred and ninety questionnaires were delivered and 164 questionnaires were returned (response rate 42.5%). The participants with MS pain were 32 clinical instructors (20.3%), 52 postgraduate students (32.9%), and 74 dental assistants (46.8%). Their mean age was 33.0 +/- 9.1 years old. The MS pain found respectively was shoulder pain 72.2% (n = 114), neckpain 70.3% (n = 111), and low backpain 50.6% (n = 80). The participants with shoulder and neckpain were combined and defined as cervicobrachial pain. The associated factor of cervicobrachial pain was working status. Being a clinical instructor and postgraduate student were associated with cervicobrachial pain with OR being 4.7 [1.3, 7.1] and 4.6 [1.6, 13.4], respectively. The impacts of MS pain among the dental personnel included usage of pain relieving medication (34.8%), seeking medical evaluation (32.3%), reduction in working hours (27.2%), difficulty sleeping (22.8%), and work absence (10.8%), respectively. The treatments of MS pain utilized to alleviate those impacts were Thai traditional massage (51.9%), medication (28.5%), physical therapy (15.8%), acupuncture (7.6%), and alternative medicine (4.4%), respectively.

Conclusion: Cervicobrachial pain was the most prevalent MS pain among the dental personnel and working status was associated with their MS pain problems. The impact of MS pain was predominantly usage of pain relieving medication. Thai traditional massage was the most utilized treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Back Pain / epidemiology
  • Dental Assistants / statistics & numerical data*
  • Dental Staff / statistics & numerical data*
  • Ergonomics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Neck Pain / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Pain / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Schools, Dental
  • Shoulder Pain / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Thailand / epidemiology
  • Young Adult