Background: Low back pain (LBP) is a common disorder that causes disability and absence from work. Healthcare professionals are in the first place of health problems related to LBP. The aim was to investigate the prevalence, severity and occupational risk factors of LBP among ICU nurses.
Method: The sample of this descriptive study was a total of 76 Intensive Care Units (ICU) nurses of a training and research hospital in the West of Turkey. A total of 1174 nursing care procedures was observed. After the completion of nurses’ socio-demographic data collection, it was determined whether the nurses had LBP each time before and after providing care to patients and if they did, the severity of LBP were measured according to Numeric Pain Rating Scale NRS (NRS).
Results: 88.2% of nurses had LBP and the mean severity of LBP was 2.84±1.44. Emergency and general surgery ICU nurses had the highest severity of LBP. The nursing care procedures were as follows in decreasing order of the severity of LBP: making the bed (6.2±2.5), patient’s mobilization (6,04±2,6), changing position/checking of pressure ulcer (5.9±2,3), make passive exercises (5.1±2,3), admission/discharge procedures (4.7±2,8), vascular access (4,5±2,4), checking drain(s) (4,5±2,3), measurement of vital signs (4,3±2,3), aspiration (4,3±2,3), and monitoring intake-output (4,1±2,1).
Conclusion: The prevalence of LBP among nurses was high and the mean severity of LBP was mild. According to the results of this study it is recommended that ICUs nurses receive in-service training on occupational risks, use of body mechanics during nursing care procedures requiring physical strength, incorporate their knowledge into their behaviors and regularly health checks can be helpful in prevention or decrease of LBP.
Low back pain, intensive care unit, nursing care procedures