Background MSDs are the most prevalent work-related diseases in the European Union (EU). Developmental pathways of these health problems are known to be related to physical and psychosocial working conditions
Objectives and Methods This study aimed to describe physical and psychological risk factors involved in the appearance of neck and upper limb MSDs in workers.
A survey was conducted in health workers of the La Rioja Regional Department of Health (Spain) (n=3939) using an observational design. Over a 12 month period, all health workers from this Department who used the Occupational Medicine Service for neck and upper limb pain and discomfort were invited to participate. Finally, a total of 707 health workers were recruited for the survey. Information on workplace exposure to physical and psychological risks was collected using three different tools: the Standardised Nordic Musculoskeletal questionnaire, the Siegrist’s and a self-reporting questionnaire (drafted ad hoc and validated prior to administration ) to gather socio-demographic and occupational variables.
Results and conclusions A high prevalence of neck and upper extremity symptoms has been found among our sample (73.55%). The most common location was neck (65.77%). Being a female worker with high physical workload, low career progress and over-involvement at work was configured as a risk profile. The studied symptoms were highly predicted by the existence of work stress and effort-reward imbalance. Therefore, medical doctors should be aware of what may be behind of these complaints, as they could be a warning of underlying mental strain and potential exposure to psychosocial risks.
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