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ORIGINAL RESEARCH Table of Contents   
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 428-438
Prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal complaints among dentists in India: A national cross-sectional survey

1 Department of Physiotherapy, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, India
2 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Manipal College of Dental Sciences (Manipal University), Mangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
Senthil P Kumar
Department of Physiotherapy, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-9290.118387

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Context: Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSD) had been previously reported to have a high prevalence among dentists in different parts of the world. Aims: The study aimed to assess the prevalence of self-reported WRMSD among dental professionals in India. Material and Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 646 dentists (response rate of 82.97%) was done using self-administered questionnaire which consisted of 27 items based on Nordic questionnaire for screening WRMSDs. Additional items of the questionnaire were added after preliminary content validation from six experienced dentists. Participant socio-demographic characteristics, work-related physical load characteristics, musculoskeletal symptom characteristics were evaluated. Statistical analysis used: All data were analyzed descriptively using percentiles and association between work-related physical load and WRMSD prevalence was done using Chi-square test. Results: All 536 dentists had at least one work-related musculoskeletal symptom in the previous year with an overall period prevalence rate of 100%. The type of symptoms present were pain (99.06%), stiffness (3.35%), fatigue (8.39%), discomfort (12.87%), clicks/sounds (4.1%), and other neurogenic (20.14%). The regions of symptoms were neck (75.74%), wrist/hand (73.13%), lower back (72.01%), shoulder (69.4%), hip (29.85%), upper back (18.65%), ankle (12.31%), and elbow (7.46%). Number of regions affected were two (82.83%), three (51.86%), four, or more (15.11%). Recurrent symptoms were present in 76.11%. Strong association was noted between sustained work postures and symptom regions for pain in WRMSD. Conclusion: The study found an overall one-year period prevalence rate of 100% for WRMSDs among Indian dentists. Measures for improving education and ergonomic evaluations are indicated on a large scale to prevent decline in work performance and incidence of WRMSDs among Indian dentists.

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