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International variation in musculoskeletal sickness absence: findings from the CUPID study

International variation in musculoskeletal sickness absence: findings from the CUPID study
International variation in musculoskeletal sickness absence: findings from the CUPID study
OBJECTIVES: To quantify the variation in rates of absence for musculoskeletal pain across 47 occupational groups (mostly nurses and office workers) from 18 countries, and to explore personal and group-level risk factors that might explain observed differences.

METHODS: A standardised questionnaire was used to obtain information about musculoskeletal pain, sickness absence and possible risk factors from 12,416 workers (92 to 1017 per occupational group). In addition, group-level data on socioeconomic variables such as sick pay and unemployment rates were assembled by members of the study team in each country. Associations of sickness absence with risk factors were examined by Poisson regression.

RESULTS: Overall, there were more than 30-fold differences between occupational groups in the 12-month prevalence of prolonged musculoskeletal sickness absence, and even among office workers carrying out similar occupational tasks, the variation was more than ten-fold. Individual-level risk factors included older age, lower educational level, tendency to somatise, physical loading at work and prolonged absence for non-musculoskeletal illness. However, these explained little of the variation between occupational groups. After adjustment for individual characteristics, prolonged musculoskeletal absence was more frequent in groups with greater time pressure at work, lower job control, and more adverse beliefs about the work-relatedness of musculoskeletal disorders.

CONCLUSIONS: Musculoskeletal sickness absence might be reduced by eliminating excessive time pressures in work, maximising employees’ responsibility and control, and providing flexibility of duties for those with disabling symptoms. Care should be taken not to overstate work as a cause of musculoskeletal injury.
18
Coggon, D.
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Vargas-Prada, S.
5e1b507e-b10c-4e37-9b89-7e9ee396daef
Ntani, G.
9b009e0a-5ab2-4c6e-a9fd-15a601e92be5
Palmer, K.T.
0cfe63f0-1d33-40ff-ae8c-6c33601df850
Coggon, D.
2b43ce0a-cc61-4d86-b15d-794208ffa5d3
Vargas-Prada, S.
5e1b507e-b10c-4e37-9b89-7e9ee396daef
Ntani, G.
9b009e0a-5ab2-4c6e-a9fd-15a601e92be5
Palmer, K.T.
0cfe63f0-1d33-40ff-ae8c-6c33601df850

Coggon, D., Vargas-Prada, S., Ntani, G. and Palmer, K.T. (2013) International variation in musculoskeletal sickness absence: findings from the CUPID study. 23rd International Conference on Epidemiology in Occupational Health (EPICOH 2013), Netherlands. 18 - 21 Jun 2013. p. 18 .

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To quantify the variation in rates of absence for musculoskeletal pain across 47 occupational groups (mostly nurses and office workers) from 18 countries, and to explore personal and group-level risk factors that might explain observed differences.

METHODS: A standardised questionnaire was used to obtain information about musculoskeletal pain, sickness absence and possible risk factors from 12,416 workers (92 to 1017 per occupational group). In addition, group-level data on socioeconomic variables such as sick pay and unemployment rates were assembled by members of the study team in each country. Associations of sickness absence with risk factors were examined by Poisson regression.

RESULTS: Overall, there were more than 30-fold differences between occupational groups in the 12-month prevalence of prolonged musculoskeletal sickness absence, and even among office workers carrying out similar occupational tasks, the variation was more than ten-fold. Individual-level risk factors included older age, lower educational level, tendency to somatise, physical loading at work and prolonged absence for non-musculoskeletal illness. However, these explained little of the variation between occupational groups. After adjustment for individual characteristics, prolonged musculoskeletal absence was more frequent in groups with greater time pressure at work, lower job control, and more adverse beliefs about the work-relatedness of musculoskeletal disorders.

CONCLUSIONS: Musculoskeletal sickness absence might be reduced by eliminating excessive time pressures in work, maximising employees’ responsibility and control, and providing flexibility of duties for those with disabling symptoms. Care should be taken not to overstate work as a cause of musculoskeletal injury.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

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

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 356180
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/356180
PURE UUID: 0e5ea8f4-9269-4415-86e0-72cd047825d8
ORCID for D. Coggon: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1930-3987

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 17 Sep 2013 15:36
Last modified: 14 Dec 2018 01:37

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Contributors

Author: D. Coggon ORCID iD
Author: S. Vargas-Prada
Author: G. Ntani
Author: K.T. Palmer

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