DATASET - Prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders among dental students A systematic review and meta-analysis

Published: 29 August 2023| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/grtwryxfbd.2


The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSD) in dental students and associated factors. We hypothesized that we would find high global prevalence rates, especially affecting the neck, low back, and shoulder regions.


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This systematic review protocol was prospectively registered on PROSPERO with number: CRD42022349864 and did not require ethics approval. This review is reported following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). 2.1 Inclusion criteria We included cross-sectional, prospective, or longitudinal design studies, conducted with dental students, with prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders assessed using a standard and valid measure, published after year 2000 in English or Portuguese in peer-reviewed journals. 2.2 Exclusion criteria Studies that included students and professional dentists in the same group, with physically impaired subjects, that excluded participants based on sociodemographic features, no peer-review journals, letters to authors and opinion articles were excluded. 2.3 Information sources We performed a systematic search of PubMed, COCHRANE, EBSCO and Scopus electronic databases since their inception to August 2022. Search strategy was made in Pubmed and adapted to other databases. 2.4 Search strategy Terms used for search strategy included at least one term from the following base concepts: student or undergraduate; dentist or dental; musculoskeletal or orthopedic or orthopaedic; symptom or disorder or dysfunction or injur*; prevalence. These terms should be in the title, abstract or as an associated MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) term (Appendix 1). Search was repeated before the final analysis. 2.5 Study selection We used Covidence® software (Veritas Health Innovation Ltd, Melbourne, Australia) for systematic review management. Two authors (MA and RP) screened all titles and abstracts identified through electronic databases searching and reference list scanning, removing the duplicates. The eligible articles progressed to full-text screening to determine their inclusion or exclusion. After the inclusion list was cross-checked between authors, the discrepancies were resolved by a third author (RO). 2.6 Data collection and quality appraisal The authors collaborated on developing and refining a data collection sheet. The sheet was pilot tested in studies with similar designs to the included articles. Studies critical appraisal were made using the AXIS tool for cross-sectional studies and the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) instrument for prospective designs. Instrument scores were converted into percentage to rate studies as good (≥75%), fair (50–74%), or poor (<50%) based on both reviewers’ assessment of risk of bias. Level of evidence was evaluated using the Grading Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) methodology. The quality of evidence was rated on a spectrum from high to very low, based on the level of confidence that the estimated risk associated with the prognostic factor accurately reflects the true variation.


Egas Moniz Cooperativa de Ensino Superior CRL


Dentistry, Musculoskeletal Disorder, Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorder


Foundation for Science and Technology