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Prevalence, Risk Factors and Health Care Service Utilization for Low-Back Pain among Nigerian Automobile Technicians

Adesola Ojo, Ojoawo, Mbada, Chidozie Emmanuel, Oladele, Timilehin, Haruna, Moda, Idowu, Opeyemi Ayodiipo, Sonuga, Ademola and Fatoye, Francis (2021) Prevalence, Risk Factors and Health Care Service Utilization for Low-Back Pain among Nigerian Automobile Technicians. Journal of Musculoskeletal Disorders and Treatment, 7 (1).

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Abstract

Background: Automobile technicians in resource-limited countries depend more on manual than mechanized approach in their work, and as such, may be at high risk for musculoskeletal disorders such as low back pain (LBP). This study was aimed to investigate the prevalence, risk factors and health care service utilization for LBP among Nigerian automobile technicians. Methods: A total of 240 members of the National Association of Automobile Technicians responded in this survey. A previously validated instrument on prevalence, risk factors and health-care-service utilization for LBP was adapted in this study. Data was analysed using descriptive and interferential statistics. Alpha level was set at p < 0.05. Results: Twelve-month and point prevalence of LBP were 79.2% and 75%. On-going LBP was associated with work-related poor posture (46.7%), trauma (13.9%) and lifting of loads (11.7%). LBP mostly led to absenteeism from work (46.8%) and consultation with health practitioners (73.7%). 40% of respondents agreed to have incurred about N1000-N5000 as treatment cost, and 38.7% of the respondents lost about N5000-N10000 as estimated cost in terms of lost hours. Type of automobile activity engaged in (p = 0.483), frequent bending (p = 0.217), lifting objects weighing up to 5 kg (p = 0.071) or up to 25 kg (p = 0.719) and sustained sitting (p = 0.349) or standing (p = 0.996) were not significantly associated with prevalence of LBP. In the bivariate analysis, age (χ2 = 3.298, P = 0.192), marital status (χ2 = 0.098, P = 0.754), type of automobile repairs engaged in (χ2 = 0.493, P = 0.483), lifting objects up to 5 kg (χ2 = 3.269, p = 0.071), lifting objects up to 25 kg (χ2 = 0.130, p = 0.719), sustained sitting (χ2 = 0.840, p = 0.349), and sustained standing (χ2 = 0.002, p = 0.996) were not significantly associated with prevalence of LBP. Level of education (χ2 = 6.121, p = 0.047) was, however, associated with LBP prevalence, although this association was not sustained following logistic regression. Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of LBP among Nigerian automobile technicians, and it results in work absenteeism, economic burden and increased need to seek health care.

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