Objective Musculoskeletal disorders are the first cause of sickness absence (SA) in Spain and the second in Catalonia. A deeper knowledge on this field may allow to refocus social protection policies and interventions to reduce its frequency and duration. The objective of the study is to describe the frequency and the duration of SA due to MSD in Catalonia.
Methods The study population included all incident SA episodes due to MSD during the period 2007–2010, registered in the Institut Català d’Avaluacions Mèdiques (ICAM) database. We selected the 10 most frequent MSD disorders (824.646 episodes) and obtained 607.732 (75%) SA episodes. We calculated the median duration of SA and analysed the differences with Mann-Whitney’s U or Kruskal-Wallis tests and studied the differences with a post-hoc test. We also carried out a survival analysis using Kaplan-Meyer graphics.
Results The most frequent musculoskeletal disorders were low back pain and neck pain. The median duration was larger for gonarthrosis and calcific tendonitis of the shoulder. The median duration of SA episodes was higher when pain was due to an organic disorder, in women (Z = 51770950’5; p < 0.001), increased with age (K = 17335’72; p < 0.001), and was higher in self-employed workers (Z = 20965263’1; p < 0.001) and in those working in agriculture and livestock (K = 736’822; p < 0.001).
Conclusions Median duration of SA caused by musculoskeletal disorders in our region are influenced by sex, age, type of work and type of social protection.
Fondo de Investigaciones Sanitarias (FIS: PI12/02556), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Subdireccion General de Evaluacion y Fomento de la Investigacion, Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion, Spanish Government.
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