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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 441-448

Ergonomic risks and prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders among dental surgeons in Nigeria: A descriptive survey

1 Department of Restorative Dentistry, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
2 Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
3 Department of Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Dental Sciences, College of Medicine University of Lagos, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
4 Department of Child Dental Health, Bayero University, Kano/Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria
5 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Afolabi Oyapero
Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Ikeja, Lagos.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JIOH.JIOH_39_21

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Aim: To determine the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among dentists in Nigeria, where it is underreported, and to correlate these MSDs with occupational and stress-related ergonomic challenges. Materials and Methods: This descriptive study was conducted among randomly selected dentists in Nigeria. A modification of the validated Nordic questionnaire was utilized to determine the prevalence of MSDs. Paired t-tests and analysis of variance tests were used to determine statistical differences between numerical variables. The logistic regression analysis was used to confirm significant effect of predictor variables on work-related MSDs (WMSDs). Difference at the 5% level was accepted as significant. Results: Most of the participants were males (58.8%), aged between 26 and 30 years (37.2%), had <5 years of experience (38.2%), and worked an average of 31–40 min for each patient. Eighty-eight participants (44.2%) had WMSDs within 7 days, whereas 126 (63.3%) had in the preceding year. Within a 12-month period, however, neck pain was the commonest complaint (22.2%), followed by lower back (20.6%) and upper back pain (18.3%). The linear regression analysis showed that age of participants: >40 years [Exp β: 1.003; confidence interval (CI): 0.848–1.187; P = 0.020], body mass index: obese (Exp β: 1.079; CI: 0.733–1.589; P = 0.027), average time spent on each patient: >50 min (Exp β: 0.903; CI: 0.313–2.609; P = 0.049), having dental nurses in the clinic: >10 (Exp β: 0.959; CI: 0.410–2.243; P = 0.000), and a high level of environmental stress (Exp β: 1.092; CI: 0.862–1.384; P = 0.029) were significantly associated with MSDs. Conclusion: Our study showed that dentists who were older than 40 years, those who were obese, those who spent an average of 50 min on each patient, and those who had few dental nurses in the clinic and had a high level of environmental stress had a significantly higher prevalence of MSDs. Modifiable chairs, correct sitting postures by the dental surgeon and the patient, adequate lighting, use of indirect vision, use of magnification loupes, and sufficient rest and breaks at work could help to ameliorate these conditions.

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