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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?
OBJECTIVES: 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.

METHODS: 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) in 18 countries. Associations with risk factors were assessed by Poisson regression.

RESULTS: The one-month prevalence of DLBP in nurses varied between countries 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 two anatomical sites co-varied (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, up to eightfold differences 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.

CONCLUSIONS: There is large international variation in the prevalence of disabling forearm and back pain among occupational groups carrying out similar tasks. This is only partially explained by the personal and socio-economic risk factors that were analysed.
16
Coggon, D.
2b43ce0a-cc61-4d86-b15d-794208ffa5d3
Ntani, G.
9b009e0a-5ab2-4c6e-a9fd-15a601e92be5
Palmer, K.T.
0cfe63f0-1d33-40ff-ae8c-6c33601df850
Coggon, D.
2b43ce0a-cc61-4d86-b15d-794208ffa5d3
Ntani, G.
9b009e0a-5ab2-4c6e-a9fd-15a601e92be5
Palmer, K.T.
0cfe63f0-1d33-40ff-ae8c-6c33601df850

Coggon, D., Ntani, G. and Palmer, K.T. (2013) Disabling musculoskeletal pain in working populations: is it the job the person or the culture? 23rd International Conference on Epidemiology in Occupational Health, Netherlands. 18 - 21 Jun 2013. p. 16 .

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: 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.

METHODS: 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) in 18 countries. Associations with risk factors were assessed by Poisson regression.

RESULTS: The one-month prevalence of DLBP in nurses varied between countries 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 two anatomical sites co-varied (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, up to eightfold differences 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.

CONCLUSIONS: There is large international variation in the prevalence of disabling forearm and back pain among occupational groups carrying out similar tasks. This is only partially explained by the personal and socio-economic risk factors that were analysed.

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More information

Published date: 19 June 2013
Venue - Dates: 23rd International Conference on Epidemiology in Occupational Health, Netherlands, 2013-06-18 - 2013-06-21
Organisations: Faculty of Medicine

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 356177
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/356177
PURE UUID: 4a1f84d6-0565-4b7e-919a-3475384d7c2f
ORCID for D. Coggon: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1930-3987

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 17 Sep 2013 15:31
Last modified: 10 Dec 2019 01:54

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Contributors

Author: D. Coggon ORCID iD
Author: G. Ntani
Author: K.T. Palmer

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