Psychosocial stress and musculoskeletal pain among senior workers from nine occupational groups: Cross-sectional findings from the SeniorWorkingLife study

Tidsskriftartikel - 2021

Resume

INTRODUCTION: Maintaining good health with advancing age is increasingly important as most European countries experience an increase in retirement age. In order to decrease the risk of premature departure from the workforce, identifying groups at increased risk of musculoskeletal pain and psychosocial stress is essential in designing workplace policies. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between occupational groups differing in terms of physical demands and skill requirement, and the outcomes of stress and pain.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study reports associations of nine different occupational groups with stress and pain among 11 474 senior workers; stratified by occupational group and based on the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO). A large-scale questionnaire survey was dispatched to Danish workers; drawn as a probability sample and merged with national registers. Representative estimates were produced using logistic regression controlling for various confounders, combined with model-assisted weights.

RESULTS: The prevalence of daily pain and high stress among occupational groups ranged between 20.0%-50.5% and 3.9%-10.0%, respectively. Compared with occupations characterised by being mostly sedentary (ISCO group 1-4), those with primarily physical demanding work (ISCO group 5-9) had higher odds of daily pain (OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.37 to 1.70) and a tendency towards higher stress scores (OR 1.20, 95% CI 0.98 to 1.46). Lastly, female workers experience increased odds of daily pain (OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.35 to 1.66) and high stress (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.29 to 1.89) compared with male workers.

CONCLUSIONS: Occupational settings characterised by mainly physical work and low skill requirements are more likely to experience daily pain compared with those entailing mainly sedentary work. Likewise, in this sample of senior workers, women are more likely to experience pain and stress. These results highlights the need for improving occupation-specific and sex-specific guidelines in the prevention of musculoskeletal pain and psychological stress in workplaces.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ClinicalTrials identifier: NCT03634410.

Reference

Vinstrup J, Sundstrup E, Andersen LL. Psychosocial stress and musculoskeletal pain among senior workers from nine occupational groups: Cross-sectional findings from the SeniorWorkingLife study. BMJ Open 2021;11(3):e043520.
doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-043520

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