Prevalence and correlates of regional pain and associated disability in Japanese workers.
ABSTRACT: To assess the prevalence and correlates of regional pain and associated disability in four groups of Japanese workers.As part of a large international survey of musculoskeletal symptoms (the CUPID study), nurses, office workers, sales/marketing personnel and transportation operatives in Japan completed a self-administered questionnaire (response rate 83%) covering experience of pain in six anatomical regions, associated disability and sickness absence, and various possible occupational and psychosocial risk factors for these outcomes. Associations with risk factors were assessed by logistic regression.Analysis was based on 2290 subjects. Rates of regional pain were generally less than in the UK, with a particularly low prevalence of wrist/hand pain among office workers (6% in past month). The strongest and most consistent risk factor for regional pain in the past month was tendency to somatise (ORs (95% CIs) for report of ? 2 versus 0 distressing somatic symptoms 3.1 (2.4 to 4.0) for low back pain, 2.8 (2.1 to 3.8) for shoulder pain, and 2.5 (1.6 to 4.1) for wrist/hand pain). Sickness absence for regional pain complaints in the past year was reported by 5% of participants, the major risk factor for this outcome being absence during the same period for other medical reasons (OR 3.7, 95% CI 2.4 to 5.8).Japanese office workers have markedly lower rates of wrist/hand pain than their UK counterparts. In Japan, as in Western Europe, somatising tendency is a major risk factor for regional pain. Sickness absence attributed to regional pain complaints appears to be much less common in Japan than in the UK, and to be driven principally by a general propensity to take sickness absence.
Project description:<h4>Objectives</h4>Our study aimed to investigate the association between comprehensive workstations and neck and upper-limb pain (NUP) among office workers.<h4>Methods</h4>This cross-sectional study included 307 office workers (median age, 39 years; 88% men). Workstations (presence of armrest, armrest position, number of monitors used, mouse position, mouse usage, keyboard usage, and keyboard position) were investigated in terms of 17 items and judged as "adequate" or "inadequate." NUP was assessed using a numerical rating scale. NUP locations included the neck, shoulder, elbow, and wrist. In the statistical analysis, outcome variables were the presence of pain in each part, while explanatory variables were the number of inadequate workstations. Logistic regression analyses were conducted with adjustment for age, gender, working duration, and exercise habit.<h4>Results</h4>The prevalence of neck pain was 47% (n = 143), shoulder pain was 50% (n = 153), elbow pain was 7.2% (n = 22), and wrist pain was 13% (n = 40). In the adjusted model, the number of inadequate workstations had significant positive associations with elbow pain (odds ratio [OR], 1.39; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06.1.81) and wrist pain (OR, 1.80; 95% CI, 22.214.171.124). However, the number of inadequate workstations was not significantly associated with neck pain or shoulder pain.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Workstation-related factors (presence of armrest, armrest position, mouse usage, and keyboard usage) were significantly associated with elbow and wrist pain. Our findings suggest that workstations can contribute to elbow and wrist pain in office workers.
Project description:The work ability index (WAI) is a frequently used tool in occupational health to identify workers at risk for a reduced work performance and for work-related disability. However, information about the prognostic value of the WAI to identify workers at risk for sickness absence is scarce.To investigate the prognostic value of the WAI for sickness absence, and whether the discriminative ability differs across demographic subgroups.At baseline, the WAI (score 7-49) was assessed among 1,331 office workers from a Dutch financial service company. Sickness absence was registered during 12-months follow-up and categorised as 0 days, 0<days<5, 5?days<15, and ?15 days in one year. Associations between WAI and sickness absence were estimated by multinomial regression analyses. Discriminative ability of the WAI was assessed by the Area Under the Curve (AUC) and Ordinal c-index (ORC). Test characteristics were determined for dichotomised outcomes. Additional analyses were performed for separate WAI dimensions, and subgroup analyses for demographic groups.A lower WAI was associated with sickness absence (?15 days vs. 0 days: per point lower WAI score OR=1.27; 95%CI 1.21-1.33). The WAI showed reasonable ability to discriminate between categories of sickness absence (ORC=0.65; 95%CI 0.63-0.68). Highest discrimination was found for comparing workers with ?15 sick days with 0 sick days (AUC=0.77) or with 1-5 sick days (AUC=0.69). At the cut-off for poor work ability (WAI?27) the sensitivity to identify workers at risk for ?15 sick days was 7.5%, the specificity 99.6%, and the positive predictive value 82%. The performance was similar across demographic subgroups.The WAI could be used to identify workers at high risk for prolonged sickness absence. However, due to low sensitivity many workers will be missed. Hence, additional factors are required to better identify workers at highest risk.
Project description:To compare the prevalence of disabling low back pain (DLBP) and disabling wrist/hand pain (DWHP) among groups of workers carrying out similar physical activities in different cultural environments, and to explore explanations for observed differences, we conducted a cross-sectional survey in 18 countries. Standardised questionnaires were used to ascertain pain that interfered with everyday activities and exposure to possible risk factors in 12,426 participants from 47 occupational groups (mostly nurses and office workers). Associations with risk factors were assessed by Poisson regression. The 1-month prevalence of DLBP in nurses varied from 9.6% to 42.6%, and that of DWHP in office workers from 2.2% to 31.6%. Rates of disabling pain at the 2 anatomical sites covaried (r = 0.76), but DLBP tended to be relatively more common in nurses and DWHP in office workers. Established risk factors such as occupational physical activities, psychosocial aspects of work, and tendency to somatise were confirmed, and associations were found also with adverse health beliefs and group awareness of people outside work with musculoskeletal pain. However, after allowance for these risk factors, an up-to 8-fold difference in prevalence remained. Systems of compensation for work-related illness and financial support for health-related incapacity for work appeared to have little influence on the occurrence of symptoms. Our findings indicate large international variation in the prevalence of disabling forearm and back pain among occupational groups carrying out similar tasks, which is only partially explained by the personal and socioeconomic risk factors that were analysed.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The prevalence of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is not well understood in many Arabian Peninsula countries. The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence and factors associated with self-reported CTS in Kuwait. FINDINGS: A cross-sectional, self-administered survey of CTS-related symptoms was used in this study. Multivariate logistic regression was also used to estimate adjusted odds ratios for factors of interest. Participants in this study were adult office workers in Kuwait (n = 470, 55.6% males), who worked in companies employing more than 50 people. Self-reported CTS was reported in 18.7% of the group (88/470). CTS was significantly associated with the following demographic factors: female gender, obesity and number of comorbid conditions. Self-identification of CTS was also associated with key symptoms and impairment in daily activities (e.g., wrist pain, numbness, weakness, night pain, difficulty carrying bags, difficulty grasping [Chi-Square Test for Association: P < 0.05 for all symptoms/activities]). However, symptoms such as wrist pain, weakness, and functional disabilities were also frequently reported among those who do not self report CTS (range: 12.1%-38.2%). CONCLUSIONS: Prevalence of self-reported CTS among office workers in Kuwait is 18.7%, and the risk factors for CTS in this population included female gender, obesity and number of related comorbidities. The frequency of symptoms in the sample who did not self report CTS suggest that CTS may be under-recognized, however further research is required to assess the prevalence of clinically diagnosed CTS.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Previous research suggesting that open-plan office environments are associated with higher rates of sickness absence rely on self-reports which can be affected by recall bias. This paper investigates the associations of sickness absence, obtained from employer records as well as self-reports, with office type (cell offices and different sizes of open-plan offices). It additionally studies whether office type is associated with sickness presence. METHODS:Employees from two private and one public sector organization were recruited to the study. Office type was ascertained by direct observation or from employee responses to an online survey. Control variables were gender, age, public/private sector and education level. Number of days and episodes of sickness absence were calculated from employer absence records and regressed on office type using negative binomial regression (n = 988). Self-reports of sickness absence and presence were regressed on office type using ordered logistic regression (n = 1237). RESULTS:Office type was generally not associated with employer records of number of episodes or days of sickness absence, except that the total number of days of leave was higher in flex offices compared to cell offices (IRR = 2.46, p = 0.007). In general, office type was not associated with self-reported days of sickness absence, apart from participants working in medium-sized open-plan offices who had 0.42 higher log-odds of absence than those working in cell offices (p = 0.004). Office type was not associated with self-reported sickness presence. CONCLUSIONS:Office type was not associated with sickness presence nor, in general, with sickness absence, whether obtained from self-reports or company records. It is not possible to conclude from this study that open-plan offices are associated with greater sickness absence or sickness presence compared to cell offices.
Project description:Musculoskeletal disorders account for one third of the long-term absenteeism in Denmark and the number of individuals sick listed for more than four weeks is increasing. Compared to other diagnoses, patients with musculoskeletal diseases, including low back pain, are less likely to return to work after a period of sick leave. It seems that a multidisciplinary intervention, including cooperation between the health sector, the social sector and in the work place, has a positive effect on days off work due to musculoskeletal disorders and particularly low back pain. It is a challenge to coordinate this type of intervention, and the implementation of a return-to-work (RTW)-coordinator is suggested as an effective strategy in this process. The purpose of this paper is to describe the study protocol and present a new type of intervention, where the physiotherapist both has the role as RTW-coordinator and treating the patient.A randomized controlled trial (RCT) is currently on-going. The RCT includes 770 patients with low back pain of minimum four weeks who are referred to an outpatient back centre. The study population consists of patients, who are sick-listed or at risk of sick-leave due to LBP. The control group is treated with usual care in a team of a physiotherapist, a chiropractor, a rheumatologist and a social worker employed at the centre. The Intervention group is treated with usual care and in addition intervention of a psychologist, an occupational physician, an ergonomist, a case manager from the municipal sickness benefit office, who has the authority in the actual case concerning sickness benefit payment and contact to the patients employer/work place. The treating physiotherapist is the RTW-coordinator. Outcome will be reported at the end of treatment as well as 6 and 12 months follow up. The primary outcome is number of days off work. Secondary outcomes are disability, pain, and quality of life. The study will follow the recommendations in CONSORT-statement in designing and reporting RCTs.This large RCT is testing the effectiveness of a preventive intervention targeting patients on short term sick leave or at risk being sick listed because of low back pain. We have developed a novel multidisciplinary team structure using the treating physiotherapist as the return to work coordinator, and having the case manager from the municipal sickness benefit office participating in team meetings. The study has the potential to contribute to the knowledge about how to target the challenges in the treatment of LBP. The aim is to prevent sickness absence and labour market exclusion--both on the individual level and economic costs at community level. Short term results will be available in 2014.This study is approved by the Danish Regional Ethics Committee (J.nr: H-C-2008-112) and is registered atClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01690234.
Project description:Most wearable devices that measure movement in workplaces cannot determine the context in which people spend time. This study examined the accuracy of Bluetooth sensing (10-second intervals) via the ActiGraph GT9X Link monitor to determine location in an office setting, using two simple, bespoke algorithms.For one work day (mean±SD 6.2±1.1 hours), 30 office workers (30% men, aged 38±11 years) simultaneously wore chest-mounted cameras (video recording) and Bluetooth-enabled monitors (initialised as receivers) on the wrist and thigh. Additional monitors (initialised as beacons) were placed in the entry, kitchen, photocopy room, corridors, and the wearer's office. Firstly, participant presence/absence at each location was predicted from the presence/absence of signals at that location (ignoring all other signals). Secondly, using the information gathered at multiple locations simultaneously, a simple heuristic model was used to predict at which location the participant was present. The Bluetooth-determined location for each algorithm was tested against the camera in terms of F-scores.When considering locations individually, the accuracy obtained was excellent in the office (F-score = 0.98 and 0.97 for thigh and wrist positions) but poor in other locations (F-score = 0.04 to 0.36), stemming primarily from a high false positive rate. The multi-location algorithm exhibited high accuracy for the office location (F-score = 0.97 for both wear positions). It also improved the F-scores obtained in the remaining locations, but not always to levels indicating good accuracy (e.g., F-score for photocopy room ?0.1 in both wear positions).The Bluetooth signalling function shows promise for determining where workers spend most of their time (i.e., their office). Placing beacons in multiple locations and using a rule-based decision model improved classification accuracy; however, for workplace locations visited infrequently or with considerable movement, accuracy was below desirable levels. Further development of algorithms is warranted.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Occupational use of computers has increased rapidly over recent decades, and has been linked with various musculoskeletal disorders, which are now the most commonly diagnosed occupational diseases in Estonia. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain (MSP) by anatomical region during the past 12 months and to investigate its association with personal characteristics and work-related risk factors among Estonian office workers using computers.<h4>Methods</h4>In a cross-sectional survey, the questionnaires were sent to the 415 computer users. Data were collected by self-administered questionnaire from 202 computer users at two universities in Estonia. The questionnaire asked about MSP at different anatomical sites, and potential individual and work related risk factors. Associations with risk factors were assessed by logistic regression.<h4>Results</h4>Most respondents (77%) reported MSP in at least one anatomical region during the past 12 months. Most prevalent was pain in the neck (51%), followed by low back pain (42%), wrist/hand pain (35%) and shoulder pain (30%). Older age, right-handedness, not currently smoking, emotional exhaustion, belief that musculoskeletal problems are commonly caused by work, and low job security were the statistically significant risk factors for MSP in different anatomical sites.<h4>Conclusions</h4>A high prevalence of MSP in the neck, low back, wrist/arm and shoulder was observed among Estonian computer users. Psychosocial risk factors were broadly consistent with those reported from elsewhere. While computer users should be aware of ergonomic techniques that can make their work easier and more comfortable, presenting computer use as a serious health hazard may modify health beliefs in a way that is unhelpful.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Recent findings indicate that wide international variation in the prevalence of disabling regional musculoskeletal pain among working populations is driven by unidentified factors predisposing to pain at multiple anatomical sites. As a step towards identification of those factors, it would be helpful to know whether the prevalence of multisite pain changes when people migrate between countries with differing rates of symptoms; and if so, whether the change is apparent in first generation migrants, and by what age it becomes manifest. METHODS:To address these questions, we analysed data from an earlier interview-based cross-sectional survey, which assessed the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain and risk factors in six groups of workers distinguished by the nature of their work (non-manual or manual) and their country of residence and ethnicity (UK white, UK of Indian subcontinental origin and Indian in India). Prevalence odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated by logistic regression. RESULTS:Among 814 participants (response rate 95.4%), 20.6% reported pain at ≥3 anatomical sites. This outcome was much less frequent in Indian manual workers than among white non-manual workers in the UK (adjusted OR 0.06, 95%CI 0.01-0.36), while rates in Indian non-manual workers were intermediate (OR 0.29, 95%CI 0.12-0.72). However, within the UK, there were only small differences between white non-manual workers and the other occupational groups, including those of Indian sub-continental origin. This applied even when analysis was restricted to participants aged 17 to 34 years, and when second and later generation migrants were excluded. CONCLUSIONS:The observed differences in the prevalence of multisite pain seem too large to be explained by healthy worker selection or errors in recall, and there was no indication of bias from differences in understanding of the term, pain. Our findings suggest that whatever drives the higher prevalence of musculoskeletal pain in the UK than India is environmental rather than genetic, affects multiple anatomical sites, begins to act by fairly early in adult life, and has impact soon after people move from India to the UK.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Several studies have found that inappropriate workstations are associated with musculoskeletal disorders. The present cross-sectional study aimed to identify the risk factors of non-specific neck pain (NP) and low back pain (LBP) among computer-using workers. DESIGN:Observational study with a cross-sectional sample. SETTING:This study surveyed 15 companies in Zhejiang province, China. PARTICIPANTS:After excluding participants with missing variables, 417 office workers, including 163 men and 254 women, were analyzed. OUTCOME MEASURES:Demographic information was collected by self-report. The standard Northwick Park Neck Pain Questionnaire and Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Index, along with other relevant questions, were used to assess the presence of potential occupational risk factors and the perceived levels of pain. Multinomial logistic regression analysis, adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, education, marital status and neck/low back injury, was performed to identify significant risk factors. RESULTS:Compared with low-level NP, the computer location (monitor not in front of the operator, but on the right or left side) was associated with ORs of 2.6 and 2.9 for medium- and high-level NP, respectively. For LBP, the computer location (monitor not in front) was associated with an OR of 3.2 for high-level pain, as compared with low-level pain, in females. Significant associations were also observed between the office temperature and LBP (OR 5.4 for high vs low), and between office work duration ?5 years and NP in female office workers (OR 2.7 for medium vs low). CONCLUSIONS:Not having the computer monitor located in front of the operator was found to be an important risk factor for NP and LBP in computer-using female workers. This information may not only enable the development of potential preventive strategies but may also provide new insights for designing appropriate workstations.