Rassegna bibliografica

Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology. Vol. 10, Iss. 19,21, May 2015

The impact of multi-site musculoskeletal pain on work ability among health care providers


Background Epidemiologic studies have reported that multi-site musculoskeletal pain threatens work ability. However, no study has been conducted on this topic among health care providers. The aim of the present study was to determine the association between multi-site pain and poor work ability among health care providers.

Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted. Participants completed a self-administered questionnaire including basic characteristics, job satisfaction, stress screening, musculoskeletal pain at neck, upper extremities, low back, and lower extremities within the last month, and work ability index. Pain intensity was dichotomized according to a numerical pain rating scale score: less than five (no) and at least five (yes). Musculoskeletal pain was divided in three groups: 1) no pain, 2) few pain sites (one to two sites), and 3) many pain sites (three to four sites). The association of the number of pain sites with poor work ability was explored through multivariable logistic regression analysis.

Results A total of 254 health care providers participated in the present study. The majority of participants were female (73.2 %) with mean age of 33.9 (SD 9.5) years. Few pain sites and many pain sites were reported by 79 (31.1 %) and 39 participants (15.4 %), respectively. The adjusted odds ratio for poor work ability of participants who had few pain sites and many pain sites were 1.85 (95 % CI: 0.91 – 3.76) and 2.41 (95 % CI: 1.04 – 5.58), respectively.

Conclusion The present study showed that multi-site musculoskeletal pain had an association with poor work ability. The magnitude of association was likely to increase by a higher number of pain sites.


Multi-site pain; Number of pain sites; Musculoskeletal pain; Work ability; Health care providers