A descriptive study on work related musculoskeletal disorders (WMDs) among physiotherapy practitioners in Kigali city: prevalence, risk factors and preventive strategies
Background: Work related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs) represent a significant occupational problem among physiotherapy practitioners worldwide; however, data on this problem are sparse in Rwanda.
Objective: To identify the prevalence, risk factors and preventive strategies for WMSDs among physiotherapists in Kigali-Rwanda.
Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive quantitative design was used. A self-administered questionnaire was used among 49 physiotherapists. Data were analysed using the descriptive statistics. Ethical clearance was obtained from the IRB of University of Rwanda, College of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Results: The prevalence of WMSDs among physiotherapists in Kigali was 77.8%. The lower back was the most affected body part (77.1%). Forty percent experienced WMSDs in their first one to five years of experience. Working in the same positions for long periods (40.0%) and treating excessive number of patients per day (31.1%) were the most perceived risk factors. The commonest identified preventive strategies were to avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time 77.8% and adjust plinth or bed height 77.8. Only 31.1% stopped patients’ treatment if it caused or aggravated their WMSDs.
Conclusion: The prevalence of WMSDs among physiotherapists in Kigali was high. Risk factors have been identified and vaious preventive strategies have been suggested by physiotherapists themselves and should be applied.
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