Prioritization of lower back pain risk factors among industrial workers using the best-worst method

Int J Occup Saf Ergon. 2021 Jun;27(2):544-551. doi: 10.1080/10803548.2019.1600303. Epub 2019 May 23.


Although lower back pain (LBP) is reported to be the most prevalent musculoskeletal disorder related to work amongst workers, little systematic effort has been made to identify the factors and to determine their priority for the onset of LBP. In this article, an attempt has been made to determine the priority of LBP risk factors using a relatively new, simple and effective multicriteria decision-making method, i.e., the best-worst method. The best-worst method has been used in this research as it makes use of relatively fewer data for comparisons and it provides comparisons with better consistency leading to more reliable results. Results of the study revealed that the occupational factor is the most prominent main risk factor for LBP, followed by psychosocial and personal factors. Further, physical load and genetics are the most and least dominating LBP risk factors, respectively.

Keywords: best–worst method; lower back pain; multicriteria decision-making method; musculoskeletal disorder related to work; risk factors.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain* / epidemiology
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases*
  • Occupational Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors