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Factors Influencing Chronic Back Pain in Care Workers Attending to The Elderly in Germany

(in German)

Introduction: The present study determined the lifetime prevalence of chronic back pain in care workers attending to the needs of elderly in Rhineland-Palatinate facilities and identified potential influencing factors.

Methods: In a cross-sectional survey, 155 care workers in 5 institutions for the elderly care were interviewed with a written questionnaire. Questions from different standardised questionnaires were combined with our own questions. We complemented the examination with 2 standardized exercise tests. The data were analysed using descriptive and bivariate as well as binary logistic regression analysis.

Results: The nurses (83.8%) were female, and the average age was 41 years. The lifetime prevalence of chronic back pain in female care workers was 50.8%. In male elderly care workers this was 20.0%. As potential influencing factors for chronic back pain, a bad subjective state of health and a weak endurance of back muscles could be identified.

Conclusion: The lifetime prevalence of chronic back pain was higher in the care workers taking care of the elderly than in the data of the general population. Discussed risk factors for back pain such as too many tasks not directly associated with caretaking, time pressure or too many elderly residents turned out as not significant. However, the subjective state of health and the endurance of back muscles were related to back pain. Prospective studies, which focus on physical and psychological stress, strain and resources, are needed to understand the causality of the high lifetime prevalence of chronic back pain in care workers in homes for the elderly better.

This article is published in the Journal "Das Gesundheitswesen" Volume 80, Issue 2, pp. 172-175.

Please download the article "Factors Influencing Chronic Back Pain in Care Workers Attending to The Elderly in Germany" (in German only).

First Online: 10 October 2017

Bibliographic information

D. Frey, S. Rieger, E. Diehl, L. C. Escobar Pinzon:
Einflussfaktoren auf chronische Rückenschmerzen bei Pflegekräften in der Altenpflege in Rheinland-Pfalz. 
in: Das Gesundheitswesen, Volume 80, Issue 2 2018. pages 172-175, DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-104693