Association between work-related musculoskeletal symptoms and quality of life among dental students: a cross-sectional study

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Sezer B., Kartal S., Sıddıkoğlu D., Kargül B.

BMC MUSCULOSKELETAL DISORDERS, vol.23, no.1, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 23 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s12891-022-04998-3
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: Musculoskeletal symptoms, Quality of life, Dental students
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


Background Dental students are frequently affected by work-related musculoskeletal symptoms (WMSs) due to reasons such as working conditions, difficult education process and long work periods. The aim of the study was to investigate the frequency and anatomical distribution of WMSs, and its effect on the quality of life (QoL) in dental students. Methods Sociodemographic and health-related characteristics of one-hundred and five dental students were recorded. WMSs were scored by the participants with the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire. Then, participants were asked to evaluate their QoL by scoring the World Health Organization Quality of Life-Brief Form. Differences between independent groups for continuous variables were evaluated by Student's t-test and ANOVA as appropriate. Linear regression analysis was performed to determine the effect of demographic and health-related parameters in predicting the QoL subscales. Results The most common painful region in the last 12 months was the neck (66.7%). The body region with the most WMSs in the last 7 days was the upper back (43.8%). Physical health-related QoL of those with diagnosed musculoskeletal symptoms, and general health-related QoL of those using medicine due to any musculoskeletal symptoms were found to be statistically significantly lower (p = 0.018, p = 0.041, respectively). It was observed that the general and physical health, psychological well-being, and social relationship of the participants who reported the presence of neck pain in the last 7 days were statistically significantly lower (p = 0.003, p < 0.001, p = 0.004, p = 0.012; respectively). According to multiple regression analyses, pain occurrence in the body in the last 12 months and/or in the last 7 days had a negative impact on the participants' general and physical health, psychological well-being, social relationship, and environmental status and related QoL (p = 0.026, p = 0.047, p = 0.021, p = 0.001, p = 0.027, respectively). Conclusions The results of this study show that dental students' body regions, especially the neck and the back, are affected by WMSs. These negative changes observed in the body had a negative effect on the QoL of the dental students.