Low Back Pain and Work Ability Among Thai Nurses
The work ability (WA) of nurses is of concern in several countries, including Thailand. Low back pain (LBP) is a major occupational health problem among hospital nurses and it impacts the nurses’ work ability. Limited research concerning the relationship between LBP and WA in hospital nurses has been conducted in Thailand. The aims of the present study were to study the levels of intensity of LBP during the previous seven days and the previous 12 months and the WA level of nurses in order to examine the relationship between individual factors, work factors, and the intensity of LBP and WA, and to determine whether individual factors, work factors, or the intensity of LBP could predict the WA of 312 nurses working in the general hospital under study. A self-reported questionnaire that was confirmed for its quality and that was composed of individual factors, work factors, LBP complaints, and the work ability index (WAI), was used for collecting the data, which were analyzed using descriptive statistics, correlation, and multiple regression. The results showed that the nurses had intensity of LBP during the previous seven days and the previous 12 months at a moderate level. More than half of the nurses had WA at a moderate level. Back muscle exercise was seen to be positively related to WA (r = 0.157, p < .05). The intensity of LBP during the previous seven days and the previous 12 months was inversely related to WA (r = −0.211, p < .05 and r = −0.239, p < .01). Further, the intensity of LBP during the previous 12 months and the back muscle exercise were seen to be important predictors of the WA among the nurses (p < .05). Hospital administrators can use the findings of this study to promote WA among nurses.
KeywordsLow back pain Work ability index Hospital Nurses
The author would like to thank the nurses that participated in this study for their cooperation during the data collection.
Conflicts of Interest
No conflicts of interest are declared by the author.
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