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Musculoskeletal pain in multiple body sites and work ability in the general working population

Tidsskriftartikel - 2018

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Background and aims Musculoskeletal pain may negatively affect work ability, especially when work demands are high and/or physical capacity of the worker is low. This study investigated the association between intensity of musculoskeletal pain in multiple body regions and work ability among young and old workers with sedentary and physical demanding jobs. Methods Currently employed wage earners (n=10,427) replied to questions about pain intensity, work ability, and physical work demands. The odds ratio (OR) for having a lower level of work ability in relation to the physical demands at work were modeled using logistic regression controlled for various confounders. Results The OR for lower work ability increased with higher pain intensity in all regions among workers with sedentary and physical work. The same pattern was observed among workers <50 years and ≥50 years in both work types. The association was quite consistent across age and work activity groups, although it tended to be more pronounced among those with physically demanding work in some of pain regions. Conclusions This study shows that increasing pain intensity in multiple sites of the body is associated with lower work ability. This was seen for both younger and older workers as well as those with sedentary and physical work. Implications Physical workers with multiple-site pain may especially be at increased risk of the consequences of reduced work ability. Therefore, extra attention is needed and this group may benefit from better targeted preventive measures.

Reference

Bayattork M, Jakobsen MD, Sundstrup E, Seidi F, Bay H, Andersen LL. Musculoskeletal pain in multiple body sites and work ability in the general working population: cross-sectional study among 10,000 wage earners [Epub ahead of print]. Scandinavian Journal of Pain 2018.
doi: 10.1515/sjpain-2018-0304

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