Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted on 250 randomly selected surgeons including 112 general surgeons, 95 gynecologists and 43 orthopedists from 21 hospitals at northern Iran. A structured questionnaire including demographic, lifestyle, occupational characteristics as well as prevalence and risk factors of LBP was used. Visual analogue scale and Oswestry low back disability questionnaires were also used to assess the pain intensity and functional disability, respectively.
Results: Point, last month, last six months, last year and lifetime prevalence of LBP was 39.9%, 50.2%, 62.3%, 71.7% and 84.8%, respectively. The highest point prevalence was related to the gynecologists with 44.9%, and the lowest for general surgeons (31.7%). Age, body mass index, smoking, general health, having an assistant, job satisfaction, using preventive strategies and years of practice were found to be correlated with the prevalence of LBP (P < .05 in all instances except for age and job satisfaction). Prolonged standing, repeated movements and awkward postures were the most prevalent aggravating factors (85.2%, 50.2% and 48.4%, respectively). Rest was found to be the most relieving factor (89.5%).
Conclusions: The results of this study demonstrate that the prevalence of LBP amongst surgeons appears to be high and highlights a major health concern. Further large scale studies, including other specialties and health professions such as physical therapy, chiropractic, and general medicine, should be performed.
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