Prevalence of pain in university students
A systematic review
Objective: to review studies on the prevalence and factors related to pain in Brazilian university students.
Methods: systematic review with PROSPERO record (CRD42020204197), of articles published in national and international journals, in PUBMED, EBSCO, LILACS, MEDLINE, VHL Portal, Google Scholar and SciELO. Descriptors: “Pain”, “Chronic Pain”, Students “,” Students, Health Occupations “and” Universities “. Included: a) Observational studies; b) transversal; c) published in national or international journals; d) written in English or Portuguese; e) developed with academics, in Brazilian higher education institutions; f) who have assessed the prevalence and factors related to pain; g) Such studies should be available in full. There were no restrictions on the period of publication of the studies. Excluded: h) studies that did not report the methodology applied to measure the outcome; i) studies with instruments that did not evaluate pain as a primary outcome, subsequently presenting insufficient data to analyze the results; j) studies with academics from other countries and k) studies with inconsistent data related to the sample and its main results. The risk of bias was assessed using the Downs and Black scale and proposed by Hoy.
Results: searches identified 67 articles, however, after analysis 10 were included. These were cross-sectional studies, published between 2011 and 2019, 5 of them from the Northeast region. The sample totaled 3,268 students, 68% of whom were women. The prevalence of pain varied between 14.4% and 98% and chronic pain between 11.5% and 59.7%. The highest perception of self-reported pain was 4.12 ± 2.15. The main pain complaints were in the lower back and upper limbs. In the methodological analysis, studies have a moderate to high risk of bias.
Conclusions: finally, the evidence indicates a high prevalence of pain, as well as its chronicity in university students. However, studies with adequate methodological rigor are still needed to confirm the results presented.
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