Prevalence and risk factors of low back pain among operation room staff at a Tertiary Care Center, Makkah, Saudi Arabia: a cross-sectional study

Ann Occup Environ Med. 2016 Jan 29:28:1. doi: 10.1186/s40557-016-0089-0. eCollection 2016.


Background: Low Back Pain (LBP) is the commonest musculoskeletal disorder and an important occupational hazard among healthcare workers (HCWs) that peaks among Operating Room (OR) staff. This cross-sectional study aimed to assess the prevalence, characteristics, and risk factors of low back pain among operating room (OR) staff in a tertiary healthcare center in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

Methods: A 39-item self-administered questionnaire was distributed to all available OR staff. Data about personal, sociodemographic, general risk factors OR specific risky activities, and LBP characteristics were obtained. Descriptive, crosstabs, and univariate and multivariate logistic regression tests were employed.

Results: Out of the 143 distributed questionnaires, 84 % were received. LBP prevalence was 74.2 %. No statistically significant associations were detected between LBP and any of the general risk factors (p >0.05). However, most of the OR risky activities were significantly associated with the occurrence of LBP (p <0.05) e.g. lifting objects above the waist, rotating torso while bearing weight, transferring patients onto bed or chair, pulling a patient up the bed, and repositioning a patient in bed. These significant associations were preserved after adjustment for gender, perceived stress at work, educational level, and receiving education about LBP. Rest and analgesics were reported to be the most common relievers.

Conclusions: LBP is a common health issue among KAMC OR staff. OR risky activities were found to contribute to this problem. We suggest designing educational interventional programs to teach OR staff the best way to prevent this problem.

Keywords: Healthcare worker; Low back pain; Musculoskeletal pain; Operating room staff.