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Risk factors for musculoskeletal symptoms of the neck or shoulder alone or neck and shoulder among hospital nurses
  1. Victor C W Hoe1,2,
  2. Helen L Kelsall1,
  3. Donna M Urquhart1,
  4. Malcolm R Sim1
  1. 1Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, The Alfred Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health, UM, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Victor Hoe, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, The Alfred Centre, Melbourne, Victoria 3004, Australia; drvictorhoe{at}gmail.com

Abstract

Objectives To investigate the relationship between sociodemographic, individual and work place factors, and neck pain alone, shoulder pain alone, and neck and shoulder pain among nurses working across three public hospitals in Melbourne, Australia.

Methods Information on participant demographics, somatisation tendency, health beliefs, mental and physical health status, workplace physical and psychosocial factors, and musculoskeletal symptoms and pain at several body sites was collected.

Results 1111 participants (response rate 38.6%) were included in the study: 17.2% reported neck pain alone, 11.6% shoulder pain alone and 15.8% both neck and shoulder pain in the past month. Self-reported neck and shoulder pain were independently associated with poorer mental (OR 0.96, 95% CI 0.94 to 0.98) and physical (0.92, 0.90 to 0.95) health and well-being, somatisation (1.77, 1.03 to 3.04) and negative work-causation beliefs (2.51, 1.57 to 3.99). Neck pain alone was more consistently associated with sociodemographic factors, mental (0.97, 0.96 to 0.99) and physical (0.97, 0.94 to 0.99) health and well-being, and shoulder pain alone was associated with physical health and well-being (0.95, 0.92 to 0.98) and fear-avoidance beliefs (0.45, 0.24 to 0.86).

Conclusion Risk factors for self-reported pain between regions of the neck and shoulder alone, and neck and shoulder differed. While neck and shoulder pain was consistently associated with several risk factors, neck and shoulder pain in isolation were both associated with physical health and well-being and individually associated with sociodemographic and health beliefs, respectively. These findings suggest that different factors may be associated with a single pain region versus pain in two regions.

  • Musculoskeletal disease
  • health beliefs
  • psychosocial
  • neck pain
  • shoulder pain

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Footnotes

  • Funding Funding was received from the Monash University Strategic Grant Scheme and a Monash University Near Miss Grant for NHMRC projects in 2008. VH was supported by the Ministry of Higher Education's Academic Training Scheme, Malaysia. HK was supported by a NHMRC Public Health Postdoctoral Fellowship (384354), Australia. DU was supported by a NHMRC Public Health Capacity Building Grant (546248), Australia and a Monash Senior Postdoctoral Fellowship.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethical approval The study was approved by the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee and The Alfred Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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