Determinants of Low Back Pain among Operating Room Nurses in Gaza Governmental Hospitals

Samer Khader Al Nawajha
سامر خضر النواجحة
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Al-Quds University
Globally, Low Back Pain (LBP) comprises a significant occupational hazard in nursing profession. This study aimed to identify determinants of LBP among operating room nurses at governmental hospitals in Gaza governorates. The design of this study is a quantitative, descriptive, analytical, cross-sectional one. The study population consisted of 159 nurses who represented all the target population. The researcher used a selfconstructed, self administered questionnaire. In total, 143 respondents completed the questionnaire with a response rate of 90.0%. Different statistical procedures were used for data analysis including cross tabulation, percentages, mean and Chi square test. Face, content and criterion related validity were done. Reliability testing was done by using the split half test (0.812), and Cronbach’s Alpha coefficient was good (0.763). The results revealed that the overall prevalence of low back pain among operating room nurses was 70.6. Around one third of the participants complained of moderate pain, 21.0% complained of severe pain, and 14.7% complained of mild pain. Regarding the features of pain, 25.7% described their pain as a stiffness sensation in nature, 17.8% reported numbness, 16.8% were not clear in their description of the experienced pain. Less than 4% reported a mixture of numbness and tingling. Nearly half reported complaining of an intermittent pain, while 6.9% had a continuous pain. The prevalence of pain was 68.2% among males and 78.8 among females. The highest complaint of LBP was among age group 31 – 40 years ‘84.0%’ followed by the age group 48 – 58 years ‘75.0%’. The highest complain of lowback pain (100.0%) was reported among those who have a long work experience (23 – 36 years). Regarding the place of work, Al Emarity Hospital had the highest percentage of LBP (100.0%) followed by AlShifa Medical Complex (84.3%). The prevalence of LBP was 73.3% among single participants especially those with BMI more than 30; with a prevalence of 82.8%. There were no statistical significant differences between gender, age, marital status and years of experience and LBP distribution. There were significant differences between the place of work and experiencing low back pain in favor of Al Emaraty Hospital. Prolonged time standing during surgery was the main risk factor for low back pain (67.1%), followed by work overload (65.0%), lifting and transferring patients (62.9%). The majority of operating room nurses have adequate knowledge regarding safety measures during work; however, there were obvious gaps in work environment, shortage staffing, lack of comfortable seats, lack of mechanical devices for patients’ lifting and high level of noise. The study concluded that work related LBP was high among operating room nurses which might affect work quality, productivity and the quality of nurses life. The results of the study imply the need for designing operating room departments in a way that considers safe ergonometric conditions. Measures to reduce LBP at work include; ensuring adequate staffing, providing breaks between operations and providing needed equipment.