Problem: The economic burden of health care in
developing countries (like Nigeria) especially among the low social class and those
involved in risky environment and occupations is worrisome and increase the out-of-pocket
expenses of such individuals and expose them to poverty. A limited amount of data
exists on the burden of low back pain (LBP) especially in developing countries.
Objective: This study was carried out to determine
the economic burden of LBP of quarry workers who attend out-patient physiotherapy
clinic of a tertiary health institution in Owo, Ondo State.
Methods: This study was carried out at Federal
Medical Centre Owo in Ondo State, Nigeria. A descriptive cross sectional survey
of forty quarry workers with LBP (28 males, 12 females) receiving physiotherapy
at Federal Medical Centre, Owo, was carried out with purposive sampling method (non-probability
sampling). Data on the economic burden of LBP and socio-demographic information
of participants were collected using a self-developed questionnaire, reviewed by
research experts. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics of proportions,
mean and standard deviations.
Outcome: It was discovered in this study that,
the cost of Physiotherapy represents the highest cost (63%) among the direct costs,
followed by the cost expended on Physician visit (23.56%) while the cost of diagnostic
tests represents the least (3%). Among the indirect costs, the expenditure on paid
help, 34000 naira (45.7%) is the highest, while that of meals outside home, 9738.46
naira (13.0%) is the lowest. On the overall, this study reveals that the direct cost of low back pain among quarry workers
(60.6%) forms the bulk of expenses of the management of low back pain by quarry
workers. It is recommended that, policy formulation on alleviating the economic
burden of ailments associated with risky jobs should be considered in developing
countries, the research work should be carried out using larger population, inclusion
of other risky occupations in future researches and that other possible factors
that can be responsible for the low back pain of such workers should be taken into
consideration in future studies.
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