Prevalence and causes of musculoskeletal impairment in Mahabubnagar District, Telangana State, India: results of a population-based survey.
Smythe T., Mactaggart I., Kuper H., Murthy GVS., Lavy C., Polack S.
Background: Musculoskeletal impairments (MSI) are the leading contributor to global years lived with disability. Comparable epidemiological data on MSI is lacking, and are needed to inform health and rehabilitative services. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence and causes of MSI in Telangana State, India. Method: A population-based survey used probability proportionate to size and compact-segment sampling to select 51 clusters of 80 individuals (all ages). Participants were screened using seven questions and any participant who screened positive underwent standardized examination by a physiotherapist for MSI presence, severity and diagnosis. Data were also collected on vision and hearing impairment, depression and self-reported difficulties with physical functioning. Results: The prevalence of MSI was 19.6% (95% CI: 16.7-22.8%) and this increased with age. The majority (82%; 574/699) of MSI was classified as mild, 11% as moderate and 7% as severe. Over half (57%) of MSI diagnoses were acquired non-traumatic causes, with degenerative joint disease being the most common. There was a high unmet need for physiotherapy services (3% attended vs. 40% recommended). One-fifth (21%) of MSI cases also had at least one of vision (10%) or hearing (11%) impairment or depression (3%). Conclusions: MSI is common among persons living in Mahabubnagar District, particularly older adults. These estimates can inform public health initiatives for the planning of health and rehabilitation services.