A Multidisciplinary Workplace Intervention for Chronic Low Back Pain among Nursing Assistants in Iran

Abstract: Study Design: Interventional research with a 6-month follow-up period. Purpose: We aimed to establish the effectiveness of a multidisciplinary workplace intervention on reduction of work-related low back pain (WRLBP), using ergonomic posture training coupled with an educational program based on social cognitive theory. Overview of Literature: WRLBP is a major occupational problem among healthcare workers, who are often required to lift heavy loads. Patient handling is a particular requirement of nurse aides, and has been reported as the main cause of chronic WRLBP. Methods: We included 125 nursing assistants from two hospitals affiliated to Qom University of Medical Sciences from May to December 2015. There was an intervention hospital with a number of 63 nursing assistants who received four multidisciplinary educational sessions for 2 hours each plus ergonomic posture training over two days and a control hospital with a number of 62 nursing assistants who didn’t receive educational intervention about low back pain. The outcomes of interest were reductions in WRLBP intensity and disability from baseline to the follow up at 6 months, which were measured using a visual analog scale and the Quebec Disability Scale. Descriptive and analytical statistics were used to analyze the data. Results: The comparison tests showed significant change from baseline in reduction of WRLBP intensity following the multidisciplinary program, with scores of 5.01±1.97 to 3.42±2.53 after 6 months on the visual analog scale in the intervention group (p <0.001) and no significant change in control groups. There was no significant difference in the disability scores between the two groups (p =0.07). Conclusions: We showed that our multidisciplinary intervention could reduce the intensity of WRLBP among nurse aides, making them suitable for implementation in programs to improve WRLBP among nursing assistants working in hospitals. Keywords: Work-related low back pain; Multidisciplinary program; Ergonomic approaches; Nurses’ aides; Randomized controlled trial