Purpose: To describe characteristics and activity limitations of new patients with musculoskeletal conditions presenting to the World Spine Care (WSC) clinic located in the underserved community of Moca, Dominican Republic.
Methods: We conducted a prospective case series of consecutive adults between October 12 and December 5, 2015. A survey of valid and reliable measures including: Body pain diagram, Wong-Baker FACES® pain rating scale, Spine Functional Index (SFI), Lower Limb Functional Index (LLFI), Upper Limb Functional Index (ULFI) and the 12-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12v2) was administered to collect socio-demographics, expectation of recovery, comorbidities, and self-reported health status data.
Results: Forty-two patients (23 females and 19 males) were included. The most common primary complaint was lower back pain (40.5%; 17/42) and 57% (24/42) of individuals reported pain that interfered with their ability to function and engage in daily activities. Half of the patients presented with two complaints. Complaints were similar between genders. Most patients (64%; 27/42) reported chronic pain (> 6 months) and 97% (41/42) reported believing that they would recover. Twenty-one percent (9/42) self-reported being diagnosed with depression and/or anxiety at some point in their life. In addition, most (57%; 24/42) individuals reported below average physical and mental health related quality of life.
Conclusions: This study is the first to describe characteristics of patients seeking care at the WSC clinic in Moca, Dominican Republic. Most patients attending the clinic suffer from persistent spine complaints that interfere with their ability to function and engage in daily activities. Nevertheless, the patients have positive expectations of recovery.
Author keywords: Musculoskeletal diseases — Spine — Dominican Republic — Developing countries — Chronic pain
Author affiliations: SdaS-O, PS: Division of Graduate Education and Research Programs, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; MN: Departments of Orthopedic Surgery and Environmental Medicine, New York University, New York, New York, United States; GO: World Spine Care, Santa Ana, California, United States; PC: UOIT-CMCC Centre for the Study of Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; PC: Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Oshawa, Ontario, Canada; PC: Canada Research Chair in Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
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