The aim of this paper is to analyze hospital admission and associated factors following presentation to healthcare facilities for low back pain (LBP) in Ethiopia.
A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted between June and November 2018 in South-west Shewa zone of Oromia regional state. Data were collected by face-to-face interviews of adults (≥18 years) with self-reported LBP using a newly developed and validated instrument. All the statistical analyses of (n = 543) individuals with a 1-year history of presentation to healthcare facilities for LBP were performed using R version 3.5.1. The log-binomial regression model was fitted and prevalence ratios with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to identify factors associated with hospitalization and the significance level was considered at the P value of ≤ .05.
The proportion of hospital admissions following presentation to healthcare facilities for LBP was 14.4%, 95% CI 11.4-17.3, with an average length of stay (LOS) 7.4 days, 95% CI 6.4-8.8. The admission rate was 18.5%, 95% CI 13.4-23.3 in females and 11.4%, 95% CI 8.0-15.1 in males. Multiple factors, such as gender, age, living conditions, residential environment, alcohol consumption status, intensity of pain, and presence of additional spinal pain, were found to be independently associated with hospitalization for LBP.
The burden on the individuals and the Ethiopian healthcare system as a result of LBP is evident by the rate of hospital admissions. Further evidence on LBP case referral procedures is needed to allow health policy makers to develop appropriate management strategies capable of dealing with the increasing epidemiology of LBP.

© 2020 Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.