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Musculoskeletal pain in Europe: the role of personal, occupational, and social risk factors

Musculoskeletal pain in Europe: the role of personal, occupational, and social risk factors
Musculoskeletal pain in Europe: the role of personal, occupational, and social risk factors
Objectives

The prevalence of musculoskeletal pain in European countries varies considerably. We analyzed data from the fifth European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) to explore the role of personal, occupational, and social risk factors in determining the national prevalence of musculoskeletal pain.

Methods

Over the course of 2010, 43 816 subjects from 34 countries were interviewed. We analyzed the one-year prevalence of back and neck/upper-limb pain. Individual-level risk factors studied included: sex; age; educational level; socioeconomic status; housework or cooking; gardening and repairs; somatizing tendency; job demand–control; six physical occupational exposures; and occupational group. Data on national socioeconomic variables were obtained from Eurostat and were available for 28 countries. We fitted Poisson regression models with random intercept by country.

Results

The main analysis comprised 35 550 workers. Among individual-level risk factors, somatizing tendency was the strongest predictor of the symptoms. Major differences were observed by country with back pain more than twice as common in Portugal (63.8%) than Ireland (25.7%), and prevalence rates of neck/upper-limb pain ranging from 26.6% in Ireland to 67.7% in Finland. Adjustment for individual-level risk factors slightly reduced the large variation in prevalence between countries. For back pain, the rates were more homogenous after adjustment for national socioeconomic variables.

Conclusions

Our analysis indicates substantial variation between European countries in the prevalence of back and neck/upper-limb pain. This variation is unexplained by established individual risk factors. It may be attributable in part to socioeconomic differences between countries, with higher prevalence where there is less risk of poverty or social exclusion.
back pain, cross-sectional study, europe, european working conditions survey, ewcs, musculoskeletal disease, musculoskeletal pain, neck pain, occupational risk factor, personal risk factor, population characteristic, social risk factor, upper-limb pain
0355-3140
36-46
Farioli, A.
5f334383-168f-49c6-b546-f163edb1fd31
Mattioli, S.
b5afa084-9b0b-4af7-9877-d227765d315d
Quaglieri, A.
30b37f90-f183-4019-8f14-3bd9f62c00ba
Curti, S.
3dd01154-d0d4-4d9d-ab04-83c4e1da3464
Violante, F.S.
88cf0003-6070-44ce-97c5-646068dae635
Coggon, D.
2b43ce0a-cc61-4d86-b15d-794208ffa5d3
Farioli, A.
5f334383-168f-49c6-b546-f163edb1fd31
Mattioli, S.
b5afa084-9b0b-4af7-9877-d227765d315d
Quaglieri, A.
30b37f90-f183-4019-8f14-3bd9f62c00ba
Curti, S.
3dd01154-d0d4-4d9d-ab04-83c4e1da3464
Violante, F.S.
88cf0003-6070-44ce-97c5-646068dae635
Coggon, D.
2b43ce0a-cc61-4d86-b15d-794208ffa5d3

Farioli, A., Mattioli, S., Quaglieri, A., Curti, S., Violante, F.S. and Coggon, D. (2014) Musculoskeletal pain in Europe: the role of personal, occupational, and social risk factors. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, 40 (1), 36-46. (doi:10.5271/sjweh.3381.). (PMID:24009006)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Objectives

The prevalence of musculoskeletal pain in European countries varies considerably. We analyzed data from the fifth European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) to explore the role of personal, occupational, and social risk factors in determining the national prevalence of musculoskeletal pain.

Methods

Over the course of 2010, 43 816 subjects from 34 countries were interviewed. We analyzed the one-year prevalence of back and neck/upper-limb pain. Individual-level risk factors studied included: sex; age; educational level; socioeconomic status; housework or cooking; gardening and repairs; somatizing tendency; job demand–control; six physical occupational exposures; and occupational group. Data on national socioeconomic variables were obtained from Eurostat and were available for 28 countries. We fitted Poisson regression models with random intercept by country.

Results

The main analysis comprised 35 550 workers. Among individual-level risk factors, somatizing tendency was the strongest predictor of the symptoms. Major differences were observed by country with back pain more than twice as common in Portugal (63.8%) than Ireland (25.7%), and prevalence rates of neck/upper-limb pain ranging from 26.6% in Ireland to 67.7% in Finland. Adjustment for individual-level risk factors slightly reduced the large variation in prevalence between countries. For back pain, the rates were more homogenous after adjustment for national socioeconomic variables.

Conclusions

Our analysis indicates substantial variation between European countries in the prevalence of back and neck/upper-limb pain. This variation is unexplained by established individual risk factors. It may be attributable in part to socioeconomic differences between countries, with higher prevalence where there is less risk of poverty or social exclusion.

Text
Musculoskeletal pain in Europe SJWEH 2014 (Farioli et al).doc - Author's Original
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More information

Published date: 1 January 2014
Keywords: back pain, cross-sectional study, europe, european working conditions survey, ewcs, musculoskeletal disease, musculoskeletal pain, neck pain, occupational risk factor, personal risk factor, population characteristic, social risk factor, upper-limb pain
Organisations: Faculty of Medicine

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 361138
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/361138
ISSN: 0355-3140
PURE UUID: 78fbef47-0885-42f2-acda-368248b462dd
ORCID for D. Coggon: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1930-3987

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 29 Jan 2014 15:04
Last modified: 29 Oct 2019 02:03

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Contributors

Author: A. Farioli
Author: S. Mattioli
Author: A. Quaglieri
Author: S. Curti
Author: F.S. Violante
Author: D. Coggon ORCID iD

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