The Prevalence of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disease Among Pediatric Ophthalmologists

Samiksha Fouzdar Jain, Sidra Akhter, Rhys Ishihara, Safeer Siddicky, Donny W. Suh, Robin High

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Work-related musculoskeletal disease (MSD) is the second leading cause of disability globally. Ophthalmologists widely report MSDs in the neck (70%) and back pain (40–80%). Our study intended to identify the prevalence of MSDs among pediatric ophthalmologists. Methods: Pediatric ophthalmologists self-reported chronic pain, instrumentation used, years practiced, surgeries performed, work schedule/environment modifications due to MSD, and treatment for MSD via an anonymous online survey. Statistical analysis of responses included odds ratios, Pearson chi-square testing, and Spearman correlations. Results: This study had 101 respondents, with 66% reporting chronic pain. Chronic neck pain (41%) and lower back pain (31%) followed by shoulder pain (30%) were the leading MSD complaints and significantly correlated with years of experience (p<0.05). Participants often had multiple types of pain, including 13% of the sample who experienced all three types of pain. Those reporting shoulder and back pain also reported a greater incidence in work modification (68–83%). Those suffering from chronic neck, shoulder, and lower back pain have sought treatment for their MSD (p<0.05). Discussion: With such wide reporting of chronic neck, back, and shoulder pain, the development of MSDs likely leads to disability. Ergonomic innovations in the workplace may reduce the healthcare burden and prolong pediatric ophthalmologists’ ability to provide services. Conclusion: In our study, the reported prevalence of chronic neck and back pain was comparable to previous studies and published literature, with 2/3 of participants reporting pain. There is a tremendous need for ongoing innovations, especially surgical loupes, operating microscopes, and slit-lamp modifications to prevent musculoskeletal disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)833-840
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Ophthalmology
StatePublished - 2022


  • back pain
  • ergonomics
  • musculoskeletal disease
  • neck pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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