Nurses comprise the largest group of the health care workforce and play a central role in patient care activities. This study explored nurses’ perspectives about context specific job factors and coping strategies for back pain experiences among nurses in Lusaka, Zambia. An interpretive paradigm qualitative research design was used. Participants were selected using maximum variation including enrolled and registered nurses and nursing administrators. Data was collected using focus group discussions, transcribed verbatim and analyzed using content analysis. All thirty-two participants expressed experiencing back pain, correlated with job related factors. Context related job factors for back-pain experiences comprised workload and work environment factors. Inadequate staffing, high patient load, long work hours, mode of performing tasks, inappropriate equipment and work settings were cited as contributing factors. Pain relief medication, exercises, physiotherapy, dietary supplements and rest were coping strategies used. The study concluded that perspectives about context specific job-related factors for back-pain experiences nurses identified were job-related factors like inadequate human resource, high patient load, long work hours and mode of performing tasks. Raising self-awareness, physical activity, adequate infrastructure, manual handling training in clinical contexts and making changes in workflow are approaches that could minimise the effects of back pain experiences among nurses.
Key words: Back pain, nurses, context factors, strategies, qualitative study.
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