Low back pain among healthcare workers in a surgical environment: a research protocol

  • Giuseppe La Torre
  • Barbara Piras
  • Francesca Carella
  • Mario Pergolini
  • Edoardo Palozzi Sapienza
  • Ciro Villani
  • Stefano Brauneis
Keywords: Low back pain, healthcare workers, surgical environment


BACKGORUND: Nurses and surgeons are among the healthcare categories with the highest risk of developing low back pain (LBP). The aim of this study is to present the research protocol of a survey for assessing the presence of low back pain among healthcare workers of a surgical ward and its associated factors.

METHODS: The survey will be conducted in the Orthopaedics ward of the teaching hospital “Policlinico Umberto I” in Rome, during the year 2018. The low-back pain will be measured using the Italian version of the Nordic Questionnaire musculoskeletal disorders. Socio-demografic and clinical data will be collected, such as: aghe, gender, heaight, weight, body mass index (BMI), type of work, years of work, working timetable.

LBP intensity will be assessed with the Numerical Rating Scale. This is a one-dimension  numerical scale with possible score from 0 (no pain) to 10 (the worst possible pain).

The general health status will be assessed with the SF-12 questionnaire, for calculating the Mental and Physical component scales, MCS and PCS respectively.

The physical activity will be assessed with the Italian version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Moreover, work-related stress will be assessed using the Karasec-15 questionnaire.

CONCLUSION: This research protocol will be useful for assessing the prevalence of LBP and its associated factors. These informations will be used for planning primary and tertiary prevention.