Economic Burden of Low Back Pain on Patients Seen

Adesola C Odole, Aderonke A Akinpelu, Babatunde A Adekanla, Olatunji B Obisanya


A limited amount of data exists on the burden of low back pain (LBP) in developing countries. This study was therefore carried out to determine the economic burden of LBP on patients seen in out-patient physiotherapy clinics of secondary and tertiary health institutions in Ibadan. Forty (25 males, 15 females) individuals with LBP receiving physiotherapy in secondary and tertiary health institutions in Ibadan participated in this cross sectional study. Data on the economic burden of LBP and socio-demographic information of participants were collected using a self-developed questionnaire. Participants’ disability was assessed using the Rolland Morris Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaire. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics of proportions, mean and standard deviations, inferential statistics of Chi-square and an independent t-test. Level of significance was set at 0.05. The overall estimated annual economic costs (direct cost – 114,666.25±74230.53 naira; indirect cost 24,495.00±16,837.13 naira) of LBP were averaged at 139,156.25±77091.16 naira. The average loss of work hours per hospital visit was estimated at 10.25± 6.75 hours per month. There was no significant difference between the economic costs of male and female patients with LBP (p=0.598). There was a significant association (p=0.04) between economic cost of care and disability. It was concluded that the direct cost of care accounted for majority of the money spent by patients with LBP receiving physiotherapy. Cost of care in LBP increases with disability.


Low back pain, economic costs, health institutions, disability

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