Musculoskeletal Disorders Among Dental Students
Author(s): Noor Sam Ahmad*, Asma Alhusna Abang Abdullah, Ooi Kee Thyng, Teong Ling Xin
Introduction: Dentistry is a profession that requires prolonged repetitive movement, sustained various body posture and stress that can contribute significantly to the development of musculoskeletal discrepancy (MSD), psychological stress and fatigue. MSD can occur in any part of the body, ranging from postural muscle, upper extremities and the lower extremities. If left untreated, MSD can cause severe degenerative and inflammatory disorders. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) among dental students.
Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional survey involving a convenient sample of 244 undergraduate and postgraduate dental students in UKM. A previously validated self-reporting questionnaire measuring MSD prevalence, derived from the Standardized Nordic Questionnaire, was distributed to students. The questionnaire included demographic data and areas where the dental students experienced trouble (ache, pain, discomfort and numbness). Data were analyzed using SPSS 22.0. Ethics approval was obtained from UKM Research Ethics Committee. Results: The neck was the most commonly affected area among UKM dental students, followed by lower back and shoulders. Neck and lower back were the regions which showed increased pattern of pain prevalence in relation to years of working experience. Shoulder pain was reported highest in 3 years of working experience.
Conclusion: This study showed the increasing evidence that MSD could be developing in students, before the starting of a professional career. It also highlighted the need to place further emphasis on ergonomic education.