The Influence of Previous Low Back Trouble, General Health, and Working Conditions on Future Sick-Listing Because of Low Back Trouble: A 15-Year Follow-Up Study of Risk Indicators for Self-Reported Sick-Listing Caused by Low Back Trouble


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Abstract

Study Design.A 15-year follow-up study.Objective.To find risk indicators for self-reported sick-listing because of low back trouble and to evaluate which variables were the most important indicators of work incapacity resulting from low back trouble during the follow-up period of 15 years.Summary of Background Data.The initial data were obtained from a health survey conducted in a general population from the Municipality of Glostrup, Denmark. The follow-up data included information from the Central Person Register, the Early Retirement Pension Register, and a postal questionnaire regarding self-reported sick-listing because of low back trouble.Methods.An epidemiologic study, in which logistic regression analyses were used for evaluation of the data. The model used consisted of the variable in question, age, gender, and previous experience of low back trouble, along with interactions.Results.It was found that 22 of 37 variables were risk indicators for later self-reported sick-listing because of low back trouble during the preceding year or the 7 years before the date of follow-up evaluation. In analyzing the most significant variables simultaneously, it was found that information from the initial investigation about sick-listing in general during the previous 10 years, sciatic pain, use of analgesics for low back trouble, previous sick-listing because of low back trouble, and occupation were the most important risk indicators for self-reported work incapacity resulting from low back trouble during the follow-up period of 15 years.Conclusion.Findings showed that the strongest prognostic indicators of later sick-listing because of low back trouble involve information from the person about previous sick-listing behavior in general and previous experience of low back trouble episodes, especially if these had been accompanied by sciatic pain, use of analgesics, or previous low back trouble sick-listing.

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