Patient-oriented assessment of back pain in pregnancy
Back pain is a common symptom in women during the last period of pregnancy. Only a few studies using validated patient-oriented tools have been undertaken on this topic. We report on a multicenter study on back pain in women during the last period of pregnancy, which involved seven Italian institutions. Seventy-six women in their 8th and 9th months were studied using the Italian validated version of the Roland questionnaire – a disease-specific patient-oriented tool for low back pain. Sixty-two percent of the women had gone through at least one previous pregnancy, and clinical data concerning both the period before all pregnancies and the period before the current pregnancy were acquired. The study found that 31% of the women had no back pain symptoms (Roland score 0), 40% scored from 1 to 4, 21% scored from 5 to 10, and 8% scored more than 10. With regard to the predictive factor, history of back pain and sciatica before the pregnancy were found to be associated with occurrence of back pain symptoms during pregnancy. Unexpectedly, our results showed that male sex of the fetus seems to be related to occurrence of back pain symptoms during pregnancy. However, back pain was not associated with having gone through previous pregnancies, nor was the Roland score related to the weight before pregnancy or to increment of weight during pregnancy. Evaluation of the patient's perspective made it possible to identify predictive factors for occurrence of back pain, thereby furnishing important information for the clinical approach to pregnancy.
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