The Prevalence of Low Back Pain among Iranian Hospital Nurses: A Systematic Review and Meta‑analysis



Background: Low back pain (LBP) is common among nurses. Yet, studies reported contradictory results about its prevalence. Objectives: The aim of this study was to systematically evaluate the prevalence of LBP among Iranian hospital nurses. Methods: This was a systematic review and meta‑analysis. Online databases such as Scientific Information Database, MEDLINE (PubMed), Scopus, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar were searched for studies on Iranian hospital nurses’ LBP published in 2000–2017. A meta‑analysis was performed using the random effects model via the Comprehensive Meta‑analysis software. The heterogeneity of the studies was assessed using the Cochran’s Q test and I 2 statistic. Results: In total, 17 studies were included. The overall prevalence of LBP among Iranian hospital nurses was 64.8% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 59.6%–69.7%). The lowest and the highest LBP prevalence rates were, respectively, 46.2% (95% CI: 43.5%–49%), among nurses in Tehran and 89.1% (95% CI: 82.2%–93.6%) among nurses in Isfahan. Meta‑regression analysis revealed that increase in the sample size and the publication year of the reviewed studies were associated, respectively, with statistically significant decrease and increase in the prevalence of LBP (P < 0.05). Conclusion: With an overall prevalence of 64.8%, LBP is highly prevalent among Iranian hospital nurses. Health policymakers and hospital managers need to provide nurses with necessary educations about LBP prevention and management and make necessary modifications to their workplace in order to create an ergonomically appropriate environment for their practice.