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Predictors of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders among Commercial Minibus Drivers in Accra Metropolis, Ghana

DOI: 10.1155/2014/384279

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Background. The objective of this study is to determine the prevalence and predictors of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) among a sample of commercial minibus drivers in the Accra Metropolis of Ghana. Methods. The participating drivers ( ) were recruited from various lorry terminals and assessed by using a semistructured questionnaire that included the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ). Results. Of the 148 drivers, 116 (78.4%) reported having WMSDs during the previous 12 months. The prevalence of the various WMSD domains was low back pain (58.8%), neck pain (25%), upper back pain (22.3%), shoulder pain (18.2%), knee pain (14.9%), ankle pain (9.5%), wrist pain (7.4%), elbow pain (4.7%), and hip/thigh pain (2.7%). Multiple logistic regression analysis adjusted for possible confounders showed that less physical activity (OR = 4.9; 95% CI = 1.5–16.5; ), driving more than 12 hours per day (OR = 2.9; 95% CI = 1.1–7.8; ), and driving at least 5 days per week (OR = 3.7; 95% CI = 1.4–9.4; ) were significantly associated with WMSDs among this cohort of drivers. Conclusion. These modifiable factors may be targets for preventive strategies to reduce the incidence of WMSDs among occupational minibus drivers in Ghana. 1. Introduction Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) include a wide range of musculoskeletal diseases and syndromes, which are usually associated with pain and discomfort. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) are defined as impairments of the musculoskeletal system (including nerves and blood vessels) caused or aggravated primarily by work itself or by the environment in which work is performed [1]. They occur predominantly in the back, neck, upper extremities, and in some cases, lower extremities, causing significant pain and discomfort with disability and hospitalization (in severe cases). Data show that worldwide, WMSDs account for 42%–58% of all work-related illnesses [2, 3] and 40% of all work-related health costs [2]. WMSDs are a serious public health problem given the high cost to the injured worker, his or her family, employers, and society to a large extent. The aetiology of WMSDs is multifactorial. The risk factors include awkward posture, manual handling, heavy lifting, strenuous task, and repetitive actions, while demographics, workload, and psychosocial factors are known to influence the development and progression of these disorders [2]. Environmental factors (such as temperature, noise, and light complaints) have also been cited as important risk factors of WMSDs [3]. Driving as a profession involves routine


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