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Impact of occupational stress and other psychosocial factors on musculoskeletal pain among Chinese offshore oil installation workers
  1. W Q Chen1,
  2. I T-S Yu2,
  3. T W Wong2
  1. 1Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, College of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China
  2. 2Department of Community & Family Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr I Yu
 Department of Community & Family Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 4/F, School of Public Health, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong;


Aims: To explore the relation between psychosocial factors and musculoskeletal pain in Chinese offshore oil installation workers.

Methods: Half of all offshore workers (being a representative sample) in a Chinese oil company were invited to complete a self-administered questionnaire providing information on sociodemographic characteristics, occupational stressors, type A behaviour, social support, coping style, health related behaviour, past injuries, and musculoskeletal pain. Factor analysis was used to identify the sources of occupational stress and the domains of type A behaviour and coping style. Logistic regression analyses were used to study the relations between psychosocial factors and musculoskeletal pain in each body region.

Results: The prevalence of musculoskeletal pain over the previous 12 months varied between 7.5% for elbow pain and 32% for low back pain; 56% workers had at least one complaint. Significant associations were found between various psychosocial factors and musculoskeletal pain in different body regions after adjusting for potential confounding factors. Occupational stressors, in particular stress from safety, physical environment, and ergonomics, were important predictors of musculoskeletal pain, as was coping by eating behaviour.

Conclusions: These observations supported the widely accepted biopsychosocial model of musculoskeletal disorders and suggested that in future studies of work related musculoskeletal disorders, psychosocial factors must be given due consideration.

  • low back pain
  • epidemiology
  • type A behaviour
  • social support
  • coping style
  • factor analysis
  • logistic regression

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  • Competing interests: none declared