Effects of Back School Program on Low Back Pain and Functional Status in Rice Farmers
Low back pain is an important health problem among rice farmers, affecting their work and daily-life function. A back school program is widely accepted as treatment, as it helps to reduce low back pain and improve functional status. The purpose of this quasi-experimental research was to examine the effects of a back school program on low back pain and functional status among 64 rice farmers in Hang Dong District, Chiang Mai Province. The study was implemented between December 2014 and February 2015. The study participants were selected by purposive sampling based on certain criteria. Participants were randomly assigned into experimental and control groups consisting of 31 and 33 participants, respectively. Both groups were similar in terms of gender and age. The experimental group received a back school program consisting of an educational session on low back pain, a practice session about proper postures in daily and working life, back stabilization exercises, and self-management for low back pain. The control group worked as usual. Data collecting instruments included the Numeric Rating Scale and the Modified Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaire (Modified ODQ). These tools were standardized and were tested for reliability, which was obtained using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient and yielded a value of 0.80. Data were analyzed by using descriptive statistics and inferential statistics.
The results of study
The major results showed that, after the experiment, the experimental group had statistically significant lower mean scores of low back pain than before the experiment, as well as higher mean scores of functional status at weeks 6 and 12 (p < .001). When comparing groups, the experimental group had statistically significant lower mean scores of low back pain and higher mean scores of functional status than the control group at weeks 6 and 12 (p < .001). These results indicate the effectiveness of back school programs on reducing low back pain and improving functional status among rice farmers. Thus, occupational and environmental health nurses and related health care personnel should promote back school programs among rice farmers who are at risk of low back pain in order to help them increase the quality of their working life.
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