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Low Back Pain Among Medical Students

A Burden and an Impact to Consider!

Amelot, Aymeric MD, PhD∗,¶; Mathon, Bertrand MD∗,¶; Haddad, Rebecca MD†,¶; Renault, Marie-Christine MD; Duguet, Alexandre MD, PhD‡,¶; Steichen, Olivier MD, PhD§,¶

doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000003067
HEALTH SERVICES RESEARCH
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Study Design. Prospective study.

Objective. Determine risk factors and consider impact of low back pain for medical students.

Summary of Background Data. Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most prevalent complaints among students. The vulnerability of medical students due to stress and numerous hours of studying and training makes them at risk of LBP.

Methods. We submitted an online self-administered modified version of the Standardized Nordic Questionnaire to 1800 medical students from 2nd to 6th year from December 2017 to March 2018.

Results. A total of 1243/1800 (68.9%) students responded to our survey. Mean age was 23.3 ± 2.9 years ranging from 18 to 44 years. 835 (72.1%) students reported suffering from LBP. In multivariate analysis with logistic regression analysis model, the third year of medical studies (odds ratio [OR]: 0.558, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.387–0.805; P = 0.002) was identified as an independent prognostic factor of LBP. Moreover, exercising weekly (OR: 1.835, 95% CI 0.933–2.5; P = 0.01) and walking at least 30 minutes a day (OR: 1.458, 95% CI 1.129–1.876; P = 0.01) significantly improve LBP. LBP generate higher monthly consumption of an analgesic (OR: 32.8, 95% CI 4.271–252.2; P < 0.001). Finally, LBP had a severe repercussion on student work (OR: 18.89, 95% CI 10.122–35.253; P < 0.0001), on the quality of sleep (OR: 12.162, 95% CI 6.917–21.386; P < 0.0001) and on their personal life (OR: 12.343, 95% CI 5.681–26.8; P < 0.0001).

Conclusion. Medical students reported high prevalence of LBP with severe consequences. Our educational perspective is to identify the risk factors of LBP, fight them, to improve the medical student’ work, and welfare.

Level of Evidence: 3

Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most prevalent complaints among students. The vulnerability of medical students due to stress and numerous hours of studying and training makes them at risk of LBP. We are submitting an original article that identifies the medical students’ LBP risk and good prognosis factors.

University and Hospital Center La Pitié-Salpétrière, Department of Neurosurgery, Paris, France

University and Hospital Center La Pitié-Salpétrière, Department of Readaptative Medecine, Paris, France

University and Hospital Center La Pitié-Salpétrière, Department of Pneumology, Paris, France

§University and Hospital Center Saint-Antoine, Department of Internal Medicine, Paris, France

Sorbonne-University, University of Pierre and Marie Curie, University Paris, Paris, France.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Aymeric Amelot, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery, Groupe Hospitalier Universitair, de la Pitié-Salpêtrière, 47-83, Boulevard de l’Hôpital 75013 Paris, France; E-mail: aymmed@hotmail.fr

Received 18 January, 2019

Revised 11 March, 2019

Accepted 25 March, 2019

The manuscript submitted does not contain information about medical device(s)/drug(s).

No funds were received in support of this work.

No relevant financial activities outside the submitted work.

Copyright © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.