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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 119-126

Prevalence and patterns of musculoskeletal pain among school students in Puducherry and its association with sociodemographic and contextual factors

1 Department of Epidemiology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Centre for Chronic Disease Control, New Delhi, India
3 Surveillance Medical Officer, World Health Organization, India
4 Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Anindo Majumdar
Centre for Chronic Disease Control, 4th Floor, Plot No. 47, Sector 44, Institutional Area, Gurgaon - 122 002, Haryana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijpn.ijpn_26_17

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Background: Limited data exist in India regarding burden of musculoskeletal pain (MSP) in school children. Objectives: The objective of this study is to determine the prevalence and patterns of MSP, to find out the association of sociodemographic and contextual factors with MSP, and to report the association of MSP-related characteristics and bag weight with school attendance. Material and Methods: It was a cross-sectional study conducted among 7th and 8th grade students of a private school in urban Puducherry. Students who could ambulate independently and stand on the weighing scale were included in this study. Previously diagnosed self-reported pathological causes of MSP were excluded from the study. A self-administered questionnaire was used for data collection. Height and weight were measured along with weight of student's backpack. Results: A total of 327 students were enrolled, majority (67%) being boys. Mean age of participants was 12.7 (standard deviation ±0.7) years. About 86% (282 out of 327) participants had experienced MSP in the preceding 2 weeks. Shoulders, neck, and knees were the parts reported to have maximum pain, i.e., in 43.6%, 39%, and 34.8% of the participants, respectively. A high proportion, i.e., 96% of the school bags weighed more than 10% of body weight. Significant association of MSP was found with participants' grade of study (P = 0.04), perception of bag weight (P = 0.01), comfort level of carrying bag (P < 0.01), and duration of carrying bag (P < 0.01). Factors such as pain affecting daily activities (P < 0.01) and number of health-care consultations (P < 0.01) were significantly associated with school attendance (P < 0.05). Conclusion: The prevalence of MSP in school children was high. Associated sociodemographic and contextual factors should be addressed urgently.

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