n African Journal of Primary Health Care and Family Medicine - Low back pain among primary school teachers in rural Kenya : prevalence and contributing factors - original research

Volume 11 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2071-2928
  • E-ISSN: 2071-2936



Background: Low back pain (LBP) has been recognised as a common occupational problem with a high prevalence among work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Although there appears to be a high prevalence of LBP among school teachers, there is inadequate information on the prevalence and predisposing factors of LBP among primary school teachers in rural Western Kenya.

Aim: To determine the prevalence, factors associated with LBP and physical disability caused by LBP.

Setting: The setting was public schools in rural Western Kenya selected by simple random sampling method.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among primary teachers from public schools using a self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire included information on LBP, demographic data, occupational and psychosocial factors and disability score. The 12-month prevalence, associated factors and LBP disability were analysed.

Results: The 12-month self-reported prevalence of LBP among primary teachers was 64.98%, with close to 70% of them reporting minimal disability. The logistic regression analysis showed that female gender (odds ratio [OR]: 1.692, p < 0.02) was associated with LBP and high supervisor support (OR: 0.46, p < 0.003) was negatively associated with LBP.

Conclusion: The prevalence of LBP among primary school teachers in rural Western Kenya is 64.98%, with the majority of them reporting minimal disability. The identified risk factors were female gender and low supervisor support. The presence of work-related psychosocial risk factors in this study suggests a comprehensive approach in evaluation and management of LBP. Preventive measures should be in place to prevent and reduce the progression of LBP disability.

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