An epidemiological investigation of low back pain in a formal Black South African township
Van der Meulen, Anthony G.
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Epidemiological studies on low back pain (LBP), conducted in a number of countries, strongly suggest that LBP is internationally a very common condition, imposing a significant social and economic burden on society. It however appeared that the epidemiology of LBP among the black population of South Africa had not yet been investigated. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of LBP in the formal black South African township of Chesterville, and to assess the extent to which LBP adversely affects the lives of the residents, in order to establish the need for specialized low back care in this community. A further aim of the study was to assess the associations between certain individual factors and the prevalence ofLBP. A population-based epidemiological survey on LBP was conducted on a sample of 1 000 residents of the township of Chesterville. After a pilot survey of 25 households suggested that the characteristics of the households in Chesterville were fairly similar with respect to the objective of the study, a clustered sample of 300 lots was selected from a layout map of Chesterville. All residents, aged 13 or older, living on these lots were interviewed by the researcher until a sample of 1 000 subjects had been achieved. The total population of Chesterville is approximately 20 000; hence the sample size covers 5% of the population of study.