A cross-sectional study of risk factors associated with the occurrence of low back pain in the staff of non-emergency ambulance transfer service department

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A cross-sectional study of risk factors associated with the occurrence of low back pain in the staff of non-emergency ambulance transfer service department

 

Author: Tam, Yin-tai Grace
Title: A cross-sectional study of risk factors associated with the occurrence of low back pain in the staff of non-emergency ambulance transfer service department
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2003
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Backache -- Risk factors
Ambulance service -- Employees -- Health risk assessment
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences
Pages: x, 113 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1714734
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/4767
Abstract: The objectives of this study were to explore the possible risk factors that contributed to the occurrence of low back pain (LBP) in the staff of Non-emergency Ambulance Transfer Service (NEATS) Department and to investigate how the risk factors affect different definitions of LBP. A cross-sectional study was conducted to 38 staff members of the NEATS Department of United Christian Hospital. A modified Nordic musculoskeletal symptoms survey and sick leave record of NEATS staff were used to document the prevalence of five definitions of LBP with progressing severity: (1) LBP for at least one day; (2) LBP for more than 7 days; (3) LBP with intensity over 4 on a 10-point numeric discomfort scale; (4) LBP needs treatment; and (5) LBP needs sick leave. The interactive effects of the personal, physical, psychosocial and exposure factors to the causes of the five LBP were explored. The physical factors (isokinetic measures and functional capacity measures) were determined objectively, and self-reported evaluations were used to document the personal, psychosocial and exposure factors. The results indicated prevalence of LBP varies with different definitions. Forward stepwise logistic regression analyses revealed different patterns of risk factors associated with different definitions of LBP. Personal risk factors, such as height (OR=2.0) and years of working experience (OR=2.7), were more predominate at the earlier stage of the low back disorder. Physical factors, such as lifting capacity (OR=0.9) were more related to intense pain and longer duration pain at the mid-stage. Psychosocial risk factors seem predominate at the later stage. However, rate of perceived effort (OR=6.5) is predominate almost throughout the progress of the low back disorder from early to later stage. Age (OR=0.7) seems to be a protective factor but may be due to the healthy worker effect. No risk factors can be found at the most severe stage of disorder (sick leave) because of too small sample size. Therefore, for early detection, rate of perceived effort and some personal risk factors would be an alarm for work adjustment to avoid deterioration of symptom. For prevention of chronic pain or further work disability, training up of physical attribute together with the concern of the worker's rate of perceived effort and the psychosocial factors may be beneficial.

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