Occurrence and impact of back pain on the quality of life of healthcare workers
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Department of Human Sciences in Medicine, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland
Department of Physical Education and Health, University of Szczecin, Poland
Non-Public Health Care Institution – Physiotherapy DAKMED, Poland
Independent Laboratory of Family Physician Education, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland
Wioletta Łubkowska   

Department of Physical Education and Health, University of Szczecin, Piastów 40B blok 6, 71-065, Szczecin, Poland
Introduction and Objective:
Back pain affects specific occupational groups, among which healthcare workers are the most predisposed. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the interdependences between subjective disability and their correlation with pain intensity and quality of life assessment among professionally active medical workers, taking into account working, socio-demographic and health conditions.

Material and methods:
The cross-sectional study enrolled 110 professionally active medical workers (nurses, midwives, paramedics and physiotherapists). The study was conducted by a diagnostic survey method using 4 questionnaires: Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), World Health Organization Quality of Life BREF (WHOQoL-BREF), and the authors’ questionnaire.

Back pain was reported by 103 respondents (94%) with the lumbar area indicated the most frequently (72.81%). Severe pain every day was reported by 49.51% of respondents and was associated with longer working time. ODI questionnaire confirmed III and IV degrees of disability in paramedics and nurses, who additionally obtained the lowest results in the quality of life assessment. Correlations between age and VAS were demonstrated (p=0.002), and between VAS and ODI pain (p<0.0001) and ODI disability (p<0.0001).

Back pain associated with professional activities is the consequence of overload. Health care workers should be included in a preventive programme and attend systematic ergonomics courses. Health care facilities should be retrofitted with equipment enabling work in accordance with the principles of ergonomics. The ODI questionnaire, together with the VAS method and scales for testing the quality of life, are useful tools in the clinical assessment of individuals with back pain.

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