Background and objective: Low back pain (LBP), as a musculoskeletal disorder, remains a common health problem and is one of the most prevalent occupational injuries affecting adults living in both developed and developing countries. To increase the power and improve the prevalence estimates of LBP among the working Ethiopian population, a comprehensive meta-analysis was carried out.
Methods: A comprehensive systematic literature search was conducted through multiple international electronic bibliographic databases such as Web of Science, Pub Med, EMBASE, Scopus, and Google Scholar. Population-based studies with the prevalence of LBP among the working population living in Ethiopia were included. Meta-analyses, meta-regression, and sensitivity analysis was conducted. Funnel plot symmetry visualization followed by Begg’s rank correlation, and Egger’s regression asymmetry test methods were performed to detect the existence of publication bias. Heterogeneity between studies was assessed by using the Cochrane Q and I2 statistics.
Results: Overall, 719 articles were identified and 13 articles with 6513 participants met the inclusion criteria for meta-analyses. The pooled point and twelve-month prevalence of LBP among the working Ethiopian population was 49% (95% CI: 40-58) and 56% (95% CI: 49-62), respectively.
Conclusion: The results showed a high prevalence of LBP among the working Ethiopian population, especially among teachers. We believe that prevention strategies addressing the early onset of LBP among the working population would most likely be the answer to the burden of LBP on future economies in Ethiopia.