Use of the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health survey module for estimating the population prevalence of musculoskeletal pain: Findings from the Solomon Islands
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Background: Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions are common and the biggest global cause of physical disability. The objective of the current study was to estimate the population prevalence of MSK-related pain using a standardized global MSK survey module for the first time. Methods: A MSK survey module was constructed by the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health Surveillance Taskforce and the Global Burden of Disease MSK Expert Group. The MSK module was included in the 2015 Solomon Islands Demographic and Health Survey. The sampling design was a two-stage stratified, nationally representative sample of households. Results: A total of 9214 participants aged 15-49 years were included in the analysis. The age-standardized four-week prevalence of activity-limiting low back pain, neck pain, and hip and/or knee pain was 16.8, 8.9, and 10.8%, respectively. Prevalence tended to increase with age, and be higher in those with lower levels of education. Conclusions: Prevalence of activity-limited pain was high in all measured MSK sites. This indicates an important public health issue for the Solomon Islands that needs to be addressed. Efforts should be underpinned by integration with strategies for other non-communicable diseases, aging, disability, and rehabilitation, and with other sectors such as social services, education, industry, and agriculture. Primary prevention strategies and strategies aimed at self-management are likely to have the greatest and most cost-effective impact.
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