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Disabling musculoskeletal pain in working populations: is it the job, the person or the culture?

Disabling musculoskeletal pain in working populations: is it the job, the person or the culture?
Disabling musculoskeletal pain in working populations: is it the job, the person or the culture?
To compare the prevalence of disabling low back pain (DLBP) and disabling wrist/hand pain (DWHP) among groups of workers carrying out similar physical activities in different cultural environments, and to explore explanations for observed differences, we conducted a cross-sectional survey in 18 countries. Standardised questionnaires were used to ascertain pain that interfered with everyday activities and exposure to possible risk factors in 12,426 participants from 47 occupational groups (mostly nurses and office workers). Associations with risk factors were assessed by Poisson regression. The 1-month prevalence of DLBP in nurses varied from 9.6% to 42.6%, and that of DWHP in office workers from 2.2% to 31.6%. Rates of disabling pain at the 2 anatomical sites covaried (r=0.76), but DLBP tended to be relatively more common in nurses and DWHP in office workers. Established risk factors such as occupational physical activities, psychosocial aspects of work, and tendency to somatise were confirmed, and associations were found also with adverse health beliefs and group awareness of people outside work with musculoskeletal pain. However, after allowance for these risk factors, an up-to 8-fold difference in prevalence remained. Systems of compensation for work-related illness and financial support for health-related incapacity for work appeared to have little influence on the occurrence of symptoms. Our findings indicate large international variation in the prevalence of disabling forearm and back pain among occupational groups carrying out similar tasks, which is only partially explained by the personal and socioeconomic risk factors that were analysed.
low back, forearm, pain, international, socioeconomic, psychosocial
0304-3959
856-862
Coggon, D.
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Ntani, G.
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Coggon, D., Ntani, G. and Palmer, K.T. et al. (2013) Disabling musculoskeletal pain in working populations: is it the job, the person or the culture? Pain, 154 (6), 856-862. (doi:10.1016/j.pain.2013.02.008). (PMID:23688828)

Record type: Article

Abstract

To compare the prevalence of disabling low back pain (DLBP) and disabling wrist/hand pain (DWHP) among groups of workers carrying out similar physical activities in different cultural environments, and to explore explanations for observed differences, we conducted a cross-sectional survey in 18 countries. Standardised questionnaires were used to ascertain pain that interfered with everyday activities and exposure to possible risk factors in 12,426 participants from 47 occupational groups (mostly nurses and office workers). Associations with risk factors were assessed by Poisson regression. The 1-month prevalence of DLBP in nurses varied from 9.6% to 42.6%, and that of DWHP in office workers from 2.2% to 31.6%. Rates of disabling pain at the 2 anatomical sites covaried (r=0.76), but DLBP tended to be relatively more common in nurses and DWHP in office workers. Established risk factors such as occupational physical activities, psychosocial aspects of work, and tendency to somatise were confirmed, and associations were found also with adverse health beliefs and group awareness of people outside work with musculoskeletal pain. However, after allowance for these risk factors, an up-to 8-fold difference in prevalence remained. Systems of compensation for work-related illness and financial support for health-related incapacity for work appeared to have little influence on the occurrence of symptoms. Our findings indicate large international variation in the prevalence of disabling forearm and back pain among occupational groups carrying out similar tasks, which is only partially explained by the personal and socioeconomic risk factors that were analysed.

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Published date: June 2013
Keywords: low back, forearm, pain, international, socioeconomic, psychosocial
Organisations: Faculty of Medicine

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 353233
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/353233
ISSN: 0304-3959
PURE UUID: 79d799f2-e8e3-4f51-9831-7c625f13ebd7
ORCID for D. Coggon: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1930-3987
ORCID for E.C. Harris: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8037-566X

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Date deposited: 03 Jun 2013 13:37
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 16:47

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Contributors

Author: D. Coggon ORCID iD
Author: G. Ntani
Author: K.T. Palmer
Author: V.E. Felli
Author: R. Harari
Author: L.H. Barrero
Author: S.A. Felknor
Author: D. Gimeno
Author: A. Cattrell
Author: C. Serra
Author: M. Bonzini
Author: E. Solidaki
Author: E. Merisalu
Author: R.R. Habib
Author: F. Sadeghian
Author: K.M. Masood
Author: S.S. Warnakulasuriya
Author: Ko Matsudaira
Author: B. Nyantumbu
Author: M.R. Sim
Author: H. Harcombe
Author: K. Cox
Author: M.H. Marziale
Author: L.M. Sarquis
Author: F. Harari
Author: R. Freire
Author: N. Harari
Author: M.V. Monroy
Author: L.A. Quintana
Author: M. Rojas
Author: E.J. Salazar Vega
Author: E.C. Harris ORCID iD
Author: S. Vargas-Prada
Author: J.M. Martinez
Author: G. Delclos
Author: F.G. Benavides
Author: M. Carugno
Author: M.M. Ferrario
Author: A.C. Pesatori
Author: L. Charzi
Author: P. Bitsios
Author: M. Kogevinas
Author: K. Oha
Author: T. Sirk
Author: A. Sadeghian
Author: R.J. Peiris-John
Author: N. Sathiakumar
Author: A.R. Wickremasinge
Author: N. Yoshimura
Author: H.L. Kelsall
Author: V.C. Hoe
Author: D.M. Urquhart
Author: S. Derrett
Author: D. McBride
Author: P. Herbison
Author: A. Gray

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