Multi-site pain and working conditions as predictors of work ability in a 4-year follow-up among food industry employees
Version of Record online: 3 AUG 2012
© 2012 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters
European Journal of Pain
Volume 17, Issue 3, pages 444–451, March 2013
How to Cite
Neupane, S., Virtanen, P., Leino-Arjas, P., Miranda, H., Siukola, A. and Nygård, C.-H. (2013), Multi-site pain and working conditions as predictors of work ability in a 4-year follow-up among food industry employees. European Journal of Pain, 17: 444–451. doi: 10.1002/j.1532-2149.2012.00198.x
This project was supported by the Finnish Work Environment Fund, grant no. 102308 and 105365.
Conflicts of interest
The authors have no conflict of interest.
- Issue online: 6 FEB 2013
- Version of Record online: 3 AUG 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 18 JUN 2012
- Finnish Work Environment Fund. Grant Numbers: 102308, 105365
We investigated the separate and joint effects of multi-site musculoskeletal pain and physical and psychosocial exposures at work on future work ability.
A survey was conducted among employees of a Finnish food industry company in 2005 (n = 1201) and a follow-up survey in 2009 (n = 734). Information on self-assessed work ability (current work ability on a scale from 0 to 10; 7 = poor work ability), multi-site musculoskeletal pain (pain in at least two anatomical areas of four), leisure-time physical activity, body mass index and physical and psychosocial exposures was obtained by questionnaire. The separate and joint effects of multi-site pain and work exposures on work ability at follow-up, among subjects with good work ability at baseline, were assessed by logistic regression, and p-values for the interaction derived.
Compared with subjects with neither multi-site pain nor adverse work exposure, multi-site pain at baseline increased the risk of poor work ability at follow-up, allowing for age, gender, occupational class, body mass index and leisure-time physical activity. The separate effects of the work exposures on work ability were somewhat smaller than those of multi-site pain. Multi-site pain had an interactive effect with work environment and awkward postures, such that no association of multi-site pain with poor work ability was seen when work environment was poor or awkward postures present.
The decline in work ability connected with multi-site pain was not increased by exposure to adverse physical or psychosocial factors at work.