Job stress dimension and work-related musculoskeletal disorders among southeast Nigerian physiotherapists

Ukachukwu Okoroafor Abaraogu, Charles Ikechukwu Ezema, Chinenye Kosisochukwu Nwosu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Although publications describe physical demands of the job in the physiotherapy profession, there is a dearth of literature on job stress dimensions (JSDs), and their relationship to work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). Objective. To investigate JSDs and their relationship to WMSDs among physiotherapists currently practicing in southeast Nigeria. Method. A cross-sectional study using items related to the Job Content Questionnaire and the Nordic musculoskeletal questionnaire. Data were summarized with descriptive statistics, and the relationship between WMSDs and JSDs was analyzed with the Mann–Whitney U test. Results. A total of 126 physiotherapists responded. There were high levels of stress in most of the job dimensions investigated: 82.1% and 22.8% of the physiotherapists had WMSDs in at least one body region in the last 12 months and the last 7 days respectively. The lower back was the most commonly affected in both periods. No specific domain was related to development of WMSDs. Conclusion. Over 80% of physiotherapists in southeast Nigeria have WMSDs. However, despite high levels of physical demands on the job, physiotherapists have job control and good social support. Intervention programs aimed at reducing WMSDs in physiotherapists should focus on risk factors that target the physical demands of the job.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)404-409
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics
Issue number3
Early online date2 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2017


  • Nigeria
  • job stress
  • physiotherapists
  • work-related musculoskeletal disorders


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