Objectives To examine the associations of psychosocial and physical work factors with musculoskeletal symptoms (MSKs) among maquila workers.
Methods As part of the longitudinal CUPID-INCA, 900 nurses, office workers and maquila workers, aged 20–59 years, were interviewed at baseline using computer assisted personal interview. Using validated questions, we asked about low back (LBP) and upper extremity (UEP) pain in the last 30 days, psychosocial and physical factors at work, and health beliefs. We used logistic regression models.
Results 772 participants (85.8%) completed the baseline assessment. LBP prevalence was 18% in maquilas, 17% in offices and 28% in nurses (p<0.05). Prevalence of UEP was similar across all three groups, around 30% (p>0.05). Health beliefs were consistently associated with LBP and UEP in all three groups (p<0.03). Lifting weights was associated with LBP in nurses (p=0.02) and repeated movements with UEP in nurses and maquilas (p<0.03). Working under pressure was associated with UEP in office workers (p=0.03).
Conclusions Health beliefs appear to play a greater role on the prevalence of MSKs in working populations in Nicaragua than psychosocial and physical work factors. Future waves of CUPID-INCA would inform about the role of these factors in the incidence of MSKs among the same population groups.
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