Different working and living conditions and their associations with persistent neck/shoulder and/or low back disorders

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Abstract

Objectives:

To investigate whether different combinations of working and living conditions are associated with the risk for persistent neck/shoulder and/or low back disorders. The underlying purpose of this contextual approach was to identify target groups for primary/secondary prevention.

Methods:

In a baseline study, 11 groups with different working and living conditions were identified by cluster analysis. In this study, these 11 groups were followed up by a postal questionnaire 5 years after baseline (response rate 82%, n = 1095).

Results:

Five of the groups—the onerous human services job, the free agent, the family burden, the mentally stretched and the physically strained groups—had an increased risk for persistent disorders (OR 2.38–2.70). Four of these groups had rather sex-specific working and living conditions.

Conclusions:

The results support the hypothesis that different combinations of working and living conditions may increase the risk for persistent neck/shoulder and/or low back disorders to different degrees. Sex-specific working and living conditions increased the risk for women as well as for men, irrespective of whether the conditions were specific to women or men.

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