Quebec Serve and Protect Low Back Pain Study: What About Mental Quality of Life?

Background
As of now, the impact of low back pain (LBP) and its chronic state, chronic low back pain (CLBP), on mental health-related quality of life (HRQOL) has never been investigated among police officers. The present investigation aims at studying this relationship using a biopsychosocial model.
Methods
Between May and October 2014, a Web-based cross-sectional study was conducted among Quebec police officers (Quebec, Canada). Mental HRQOL was measured using the role emotional (RE) and the mental health (MH) domains of the SF-12v2 Health Survey. The impact of CLBP on mental HRQOL (as opposed to acute/subacute LBP or no LBP) was studied with a multivariate linear regression model.
Results
Of the 3,589 police officers who participated in the study, 1,013 (28.4%) reported CLBP. The mean age of respondents was 38.5 ± 8.7 years, and 32.0% were females. The RE (44.1/100) and MH (49.0/100) mean scores of the CLBP group were comparable with the scores found in populations suffering from cancer or heart diseases. Compared to officers without LBP, the presence of CLBP was significantly associated with lower RE (β: −0.068; p = 0.003) and MH (β: −0.062; p = 0.002) scores. These relationships were not found in the acute/subacute LBP group.
Conclusion
Our results underscore how frequent CLBP is among police officers and how burdensome it is. Considering the importance of good physical and mental health for this occupational population, police organizations should be aware of this issue and contribute to the efforts toward CLBP prevention and management in the workplace.

Source : Douma, N.B., Côté, C. et Lacasse, A. (2019). Safety and Health at Work, 10, (1), 39-46. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shaw.2018.08.006

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