Occupational risk factors for low back pain among drivers of three-wheelers in Sri Lanka.
BACKGROUND: Approximately 5% of all households in Sri Lanka operate a three-wheeler as their primary source of income. However, very little is known about the occupational health risks associated with driving these vehicles. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to assess occupational risk factors, including the number of hours worked associated with the 4-week prevalence of low back pain (LBP) among drivers of three-wheelers. METHODS: Questionnaires were administered to 200 full-time drivers of three-wheelers from the Galle District in Sri Lanka. Occupational, psychological, socio-demographic, lifestyle, and anthropometric variables were collected. Univariate and multivariate analysis were used to investigate the correlation between occupational risk factors of the prevalence of LBP. RESULTS: 15·5% of respondents reported experiencing LBP in the previous 4 months. Univariate analysis revealed that the number of hours worked per week, feeling pressure to compete with other drivers, and perceived stress scale scores were significantly associated with the 4-week prevalence of LBP. Multivariate analysis found that the number of hours worked per week and engine type were significantly associated with LBP. CONCLUSIONS: LBP is common among drivers of three-wheelers in Sri Lanka. Long work hours and two-stroke engines were significantly associated with LBP. Results from this study point towards a role for educational, behavioral health, and policy interventions to help prevent and reduce LBP among these drivers.
Noda, M; Malhotra, R; DeSilva, V; Sapukotana, P; DeSilva, A; Kirkorowicz, J; Allen, J; Østbye, T
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