This study was performed to assess disability on daily living activities, which developed secondary to low back pain, in patients with lumbar disc herniation and treated either conservatively or surgically. The study was performed between November 2008 and June 2009. Visual analogue scale (VAS) was used to measure the intensity of pain, and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) was used to assess the disability of the patients on daily living activities. Of the 112 patients, 55 were women and 57 were men. The mean age was 39.68 years for the conservative treatment group and 46.46 years the for surgical treatment group. In the pretreatment period, the patients who were selected for surgical treatment had higher VAS score and ODI than did the patients who were selected for conservative treatment. The disability areas that were reported in the pretreatment period were walking, sleeping, standing, and traveling for the surgical treatment group and self-care, sitting, and social life areas for the conservative treatment group. When the ODI and VAS score of the patients were statistically compared at the third month of posttreatment period, the scores were significantly low in the surgical treatment group. The disability areas that were reported at the third month of posttreatment period were weight lifting, self-care, and walking for the surgical treatment group and social life, sleeping, sitting, and standing for the conservative treatment group. This study found that patients with low back pain experience physical disabilities due to pain. Their daily living activities are affected by these disabilities and the intensity of pain affects the level of disability. Knowledge of the disability areas caused by low back pain plays an important role in the determination of nursing care and content of the education which will be offered to the patients. The use of scale on the patient’s care is important to form a common language in nursing and to obtain evidence-based data related to the patients.
Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Gulsah Kose, RN MSc, at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is a doctoral student at the School of Nursing, Gulhane Military Medical Academy, Ankara, Turkey.
Sevgi Hatipoglu, RN PhD, is a professor at the School of Nursing, Gulhane Military Medical Academy, Ankara, Turkey.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.