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Correlations between pain in the back and neck/upper limb in the European Working Conditions Survey

Correlations between pain in the back and neck/upper limb in the European Working Conditions Survey
Correlations between pain in the back and neck/upper limb in the European Working Conditions Survey

Background: Recent research has suggested that wide international variation in the prevalence of disabling regional pain among working populations is driven largely by factors predisposing to musculoskeletal pain in general and not specific to individual anatomical sites. We sought to confirm this finding, using data from an independent source. Methods: Using data from the fifth (2010) and sixth (2015) European Working Conditions Surveys, we explored correlations between the one-year prevalence of pain in the back and neck/upper limb among people of working age across 33 European countries, and between changes in pain prevalence at the two anatomical sites from 2010 to 2015. Results: Each survey recruited ≥1000 participants per country, response rates ranging from 11 to 78%. In 2010, the estimated one-year population prevalence of back pain ranged from 23% in Ireland to 66% in Portugal, and that of pain in the neck/upper limb from 25% in Ireland to 69% in Finland, the prevalence of pain at the two anatomical sites being correlated across the 33 countries (r = 0.42). A similar pattern was apparent in 2015. For back pain, the percentage change in prevalence from 2010 to 2015 varied from - 41.4% (Hungary) to + 29.6% (Ireland), with a mean across countries of - 3.0%. For neck/upper limb pain, the variation was from - 41.0% (Hungary) to + 44.1% (Romania), with an average of - 0.1%. There was a strong correlation across countries in the change in pain prevalence at the two anatomical sites (r = 0.85). Conclusions: Our findings accord with the hypothesis that international variation in common pain complaints is importantly driven by factors that predispose to musculoskeletal pain in general.

International variation, Low back pain, Prevalence, Upper limb pain
1471-2474
1-5
Rizzello, Emanuele
12b733d5-b3a1-4f4c-8cb5-03827bedaa14
Ntani, Georgia
9b009e0a-5ab2-4c6e-a9fd-15a601e92be5
Coggon, David
2b43ce0a-cc61-4d86-b15d-794208ffa5d3
Rizzello, Emanuele
12b733d5-b3a1-4f4c-8cb5-03827bedaa14
Ntani, Georgia
9b009e0a-5ab2-4c6e-a9fd-15a601e92be5
Coggon, David
2b43ce0a-cc61-4d86-b15d-794208ffa5d3

Rizzello, Emanuele, Ntani, Georgia and Coggon, David (2019) Correlations between pain in the back and neck/upper limb in the European Working Conditions Survey. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 20 (1), 1-5, [38]. (doi:10.1186/s12891-019-2404-8).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: Recent research has suggested that wide international variation in the prevalence of disabling regional pain among working populations is driven largely by factors predisposing to musculoskeletal pain in general and not specific to individual anatomical sites. We sought to confirm this finding, using data from an independent source. Methods: Using data from the fifth (2010) and sixth (2015) European Working Conditions Surveys, we explored correlations between the one-year prevalence of pain in the back and neck/upper limb among people of working age across 33 European countries, and between changes in pain prevalence at the two anatomical sites from 2010 to 2015. Results: Each survey recruited ≥1000 participants per country, response rates ranging from 11 to 78%. In 2010, the estimated one-year population prevalence of back pain ranged from 23% in Ireland to 66% in Portugal, and that of pain in the neck/upper limb from 25% in Ireland to 69% in Finland, the prevalence of pain at the two anatomical sites being correlated across the 33 countries (r = 0.42). A similar pattern was apparent in 2015. For back pain, the percentage change in prevalence from 2010 to 2015 varied from - 41.4% (Hungary) to + 29.6% (Ireland), with a mean across countries of - 3.0%. For neck/upper limb pain, the variation was from - 41.0% (Hungary) to + 44.1% (Romania), with an average of - 0.1%. There was a strong correlation across countries in the change in pain prevalence at the two anatomical sites (r = 0.85). Conclusions: Our findings accord with the hypothesis that international variation in common pain complaints is importantly driven by factors that predispose to musculoskeletal pain in general.

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Accepted/In Press date: 4 January 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 23 January 2019
Keywords: International variation, Low back pain, Prevalence, Upper limb pain

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 427932
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/427932
ISSN: 1471-2474
PURE UUID: c0db51ef-7c47-463d-95a3-faaafd47ec3c
ORCID for David Coggon: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1930-3987

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Date deposited: 05 Feb 2019 17:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 01:39

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Author: Emanuele Rizzello
Author: Georgia Ntani
Author: David Coggon ORCID iD

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