Factors predicting dropout in student nursing assistants

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

BACKGROUND: The dropout rate among student nursing assistants (NAs) in Danish health and social care education is high at >20%. AIMS: To explore if recent low back pain (LBP) history is a predictor of dropout among NA students, taking into account conventional risk factors for LBP, general health and physical fitness. METHODS: Prospective study with 14-month follow-up (the duration of the education) in two schools of health and social care in the Region of Copenhagen, Denmark. Participants completed a comprehensive questionnaire, and their physical fitness (balance, back extension endurance, back flexion endurance and sagittal flexibility) was assessed at baseline. Dropout was defined as failure to complete NA education. RESULTS: A total of 790 subjects, 87% of those invited, completed the questionnaire; 612 subjects also completed the physical tests and were included in the present study and 500 (83%) were women. Recent LBP was not an independent predictor of school dropout. However, only among women who had LBP were other factors (a history of previous exposure to heavy physical workload, a low mental health score and failure to pass the back extension endurance test) associated with risk of dropout, OR (95% CI)=2.5 (1.2-5.3). Among men, only low height was significantly associated with dropout risk. CONCLUSIONS: A recent LBP history was not an independent single predictor of dropout from NA education but was a risk factor in combination with other factors.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOccupational Medicine
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)527-33
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2008

ID: 10089646