Author(s): Maul I, Lubli T, Klipstein A, Krueger H
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Abstract AIMS: To describe the course of low back pain (LBP) among nurses across eight years. METHODS: A longitudinal study was performed with a follow up at 1 and 8 years among nurses employed by a large university hospital in Switzerland. A modified version of the Nordic Questionnaire was distributed to obtain information about demographic data, occupational activities, and various aspects of LBP. A clinical examination and several functional tests were used to overcome the problems associated with subjective pain reporting. Nurses having answered the questionnaire on all three occasions (n = 269) were classified into subgroups according to their pain intensity. For each subgroup the course of LBP was recorded. RESULTS: LBP was highly prevalent with an annual prevalence varying from 73\% to 76\%. A large percentage (38\%) indicated the same intensity of LBP on all three occasions. The proportion of nurses reporting repeated increase of LBP (19\%) was approximately as large as the proportion who complained about repeated decrease of LBP (17\%). CONCLUSION: It became evident that LBP poses a persistent problem among nurses. Over an eight year period almost half of the nurses indicated the same intensity of LBP, thus supporting a recurrent rather than a progressive nature of LBP.
This article was published in Occup Environ Med
and referenced in Journal of Ergonomics