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Stress from working conditions among home care personnel with musculoskeletal symptoms

Authors


Christine Brulin National Institute for Working Life, Center for Musculoskeletal Research, Box 7654, S-907 13 Umeå, Sweden. E-mail: Christine.Brulin@niwl.se

Abstract

Stress from working conditions among home care personnel with musculoskeletal symptoms

A large proportion of the working population experiences musculoskeletal symptoms, which affect the individual’s quality of life. Neck/shoulder and/or low back complaints are common among home care personnel. This occupational sector is characterized by high physical and psychosocial demands and the staff is typically female. The aim of this qualitative study was to gain a deeper understanding of those factors in the work environment of home care personnel that the individuals perceive as demanding and problematic. Eight employees in the home care service were interviewed in depth. Each interview was transcribed and Grounded Theory was applied. Stress, related to demanding physical and psychosocial working conditions, emerged as the core variable that probably contributed to the development and maintenance of musculoskeletal symptoms. Financial cut-backs at the municipality was seen as a cause of the demanding working conditions. In future studies it is important to evaluate prevention programmes focused upon coping strategies against stress.

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