Low back pain (LBP) has been recognized as a major cause of sickness and disability among health care workers (HCW) who perform handling of patients. A survey was carrying out to investigate risk factors for LBP and related absenteeism and disability in a group of HCW. 333 HCW were examined in 2003 and 2005 and data were collected on personal, occupational and clinical history and on risk factors for LBP and related absenteeism. Psychosocial factors and LBP related disability were evaluated by means of Karasek's Job Content questionnaire and Oswestry Low Back disability Index. Most of our study population were female (80%) and the prevalence of acute and chronic LBP was 37%. Subjects with chronic LBP referred a significantly higher level of disability as compared to acute LBP subjects. Moreover, a significantly relationship was found (p=0,04) between high level of disability (group III e IV of ODI index) and high perceived job demand. The introduction of questionnaires to collect disability and psychosocial factors is highly recommended In periodic health surveillance program of HCW performing manual handling of patients.
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