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Dr. Beatriz Minghelli
Piaget Institute, Research in Education and Community Intervention, Portugal

Beatriz Minghelli, Adjunct Professor in the School of Health Jean Piaget / Algarve, Piaget Institute of Study Cycles in Physiotherapy and Nursing since 2006. Member of Research in Education and Community Intervention (RECI) –Piaget Institute PhD in Public Health, Epidemiology specialty, in the National School of Public Health, NOVA University Lisbon, Portugal, Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the School of Human Kinetics, University of Lisbon, Portugal, Physiotherapist by Education School Helena Antipoff - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. With regard to research, has 27 publications in national and international journals and several participations in scientific events through work in the form of poster and oral presentations. Reviewer of scientific article for several journals (Journal of Public Health, BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, International Journal of General Medicine, ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research, Journal of Spine & Neurosurgery, Adolescent Health, Medicine and Therapeutics, Archives of Physiotherapy, Journal of Pain Research). Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal Austin Spine, EC Orthopaedics journal, Research and Reviews. Most investigations are related to epidemiology studies, including obesity, low back pain, scoliosis, postural changes, injuries in different sports (soccer, surf, cycling, martial arts).


Low back pain (LBP) has become a growing public health problem in adolescents, presenting a relatively high prevalence during school age. In southern Portugal, 966 adolescents were evaluated, aged between 10 and 16 years and the results revealed that 15.7% of students had LPB at the present time, 47.2% had experienced it in the last year and 62.1% had lifetime prevalence of LBP. Several factors may be involved in the pathogenesis of LBP, such as genetic, psychosocial, physiological, anthropometric and environmental, among them ethnicity, age, sex, smoking, obesity, physical activity practice, sedentary activities such as television watching and computer use, adoption of wrong postures and incorrect transportation and excess weight in school backpacks. Minghelli et al. study found that students who sit with the spine incorrectly positioned presented 2.49 (95% CI: 1.91-3.2, p<0.001) greater probability of having LBP, and students using improper positions for watching TV or playing games have 2.01 (95% CI: 1.55-2.61, p<0.001) greater probabilities compared to those who adopted correct postures. Physiotherapy in the school health field emerges with the objective of promoting knowledge and health conditions in this specific area of LBP and postural changes, optimizing the technical and personal skills of teachers and students, and developing individual and collective health potential. The performance of the Physiotherapist in schools should involve a salutogenic approach in order to create in schools a stimulating environment of creativity and a critical sense, and not just an intervention aiming at changes in risk factors. Empowerment, capacity and motivation must be given so that adolescents and the entire school community are responsible for their own health choices. Several studies have verified the effectiveness of a school health program in improving students' posture and knowledge about ergonomic issues, however, there are still no guidelines and little is known about the effectiveness of such a program. The objective of this oral presentation will be to disseminate the guidelines of scientific studies that were used in school health programs and their effectiveness and to present a school health project developed in schools in the south of Portugal. References • Cardon G, De Clercq D, De Bourdeaudhuij I. Effects of back care education in elementary schoolchildren. ACTA PÆDIATR 89 (2000) 1010-17 • Cardon GM, De Clercq DLR, Geldhof EJA et al (2007) Back education in elementary schoolchildren: the effects of adding a physical activity promotion program to a back care program. Eur Spine J 16:125–133 • Cardon GM, De Clercq DLR, de Bourdeaudhuij IMM (2002) Back education efficacy in elementary schoolchildren—a 1-year follow-up study. Spine 27:299–305 • Cardon G, De Bourdeaudhuij I, de Clercq D (2002) Knowledge and perceptions about back education among elementary school students, teachers, and parents in Belgium. J School Health 72:100–106 • Geldhof E, Cardon G, de Bourdeaudhuij I et al (2007) Back posture education in elementary schoolchildren: a 2-year follow up study. Eur Spine J 16:841–850 • Geldhof E, Cardon G, De Bourdeaudhuij I, De Clercq D. Back posture education in elementar schoolchildren: stability of two-year intervention effects. Europa Medicophysica 2007; 43 (3): 369-379 • Jones G, Macfarlane G. Epidemiology of low back pain in children and adolescents. Arch Dis Child 2005; 90: 312-316 • Jones M, Stratton G, Reilly T, Unnithan V. A school-based survey of recurrent non-specific low-back pain prevalence and consequences in children. Health Education Research 2004; 19 (3): 284-289 • Leboeuf-Yde C. Back pain - individual and genetic factors. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 2004; 14: 129-133 • Minghelli B, Oliveira R, Nunes C. Non-specific low back pain in adolescents from South of Portugal: prevalence and associated factors. Journal of Orthopaedic Science August 2014; 19 (6): 883-892 • Williams F, Sambrook P. Neck and back pain and intervertebral disc degeneration: Role of occupational factors. Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology 2001; 25: 69-79

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