Back pain during pregnancy and living conditions: a comparison between Beninese and Canadian women

Ann Phys Rehabil Med. 2012 Apr;55(3):148-59. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2012 Mar 6.
[Article in English, French]


Objective: The objective of this exploratory study was to investigate and underline the contrasts between African and Canadian pregnant women, and their living conditions. We also intended to evaluate how they compared on low back pain, a condition that seems common across all pregnant women everywhere in the world.

Subjects and method: Thirty Beninese and 50 Canadian women were surveyed with demographic disability questionnaires O.D.I at approximately 25 weeks of pregnancy.

Results: There were large differences between the two groups due to the differences between the life style. Beninese women were more likely to be self-employed or housewives, while Canadian women were more likely to be employed. Beninese women worked for 18hours more per week, and had on average one more child at home. A higher percentage of Beninese women reported back pain, 83% versus 58% for Canadian women, but the disability scores were in the "moderate disability" range for both groups. A higher percentage of Beninese women also reported at least severe disability, 33% versus 14% for Canadian women.

Conclusion: The results suggest that the higher percentages of Beninese women affected by back pain and by severe back pain is related to the longer hours worked and more strenuous physical work performed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Back Pain / epidemiology*
  • Benin / epidemiology
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Employment*
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Young Adult