Table 4

Summary of the strength of evidence of risk factors for shoulder pain

Study references Consistency of findings Strength of association: (OR/RR)4-150 Median method score: %
Heavy physical loadMS ⩾60%: 17,20,23,26,27,28,29MS ⩾60%: 3/7 = 43% positiveMS ⩾60%: 1.7, 3.6, 5.4Positive findings: 47
MS <60%: 30,34,35,36,37,42,45,46MS <60%: 4/7 = 57% positiveMS <60%: 2.0 to 2.3, 5.5, ?No association: 60
Awkward posturesMS ⩾60%: 17,19,20,26,29,44 MS ⩾60%: 3/6 = 50% positiveMS ⩾60%: 1.4, 1.6, 2.8→3.1Positive findings: 56
MS <60%: 30,31,33,37,41,45,46MS <60%: 7/7 = 100% positiveMS <60%: 2.1, 5.1, 10.6, ?No association: 71
Repetitive movementsMS ⩾60%: 17,26,44MS ⩾60%: 3/3 = 100% positiveMS ⩾60%: 1.6, 2.3, 46Positive findings: 59
MS <60%: 31,33,37,40,45MS <60%: 3/5 = 60% positiveMS <60%: 7→10→1.5, ?No association: 48
Same activity for a prolonged period of timeMS ⩾60%: 24,25,27MS ⩾60%: 1/3 = 33% positiveMS ⩾60%: 1.6Positive findings: 53
MS <60%: 32,33MS <60%: 2/2 = 100% positiveMS <60%: 1.9, 18.8No association: 65
VibrationMS ⩾60%: 18,23,MS ⩾60%: 2/2 = 100% positiveMS ⩾60%: 1.04/y, 2.6Positive findings: 57
MS <60%: 36,37,39,45MS <60%: 2/4 = 50% positiveMS <60%: ?No association: 45
Duration of employmentMS ⩾60%: 19,22,23,24MS ⩾60%: 3/4 = 75% positiveMS ⩾60%: 1.4, 3.9→2.1, 2.3→3.2Positive findings: 62
MS <60%: 30,32,36,40,41,43MS <60%: 3/6 = 50% positiveMS <60%: 1.9, ?No association: 47
Psychological work demandsMS ⩾60%: 17,20,21,22,24,25,26,27MS ⩾60%: 4/8 = 50% positiveMS ⩾60%: 1.5, 1.5, 1.5, 1.7Positive findings: 59
MS <60%: 30,31,32,36,37,45MS <60%: 4/6 = 67% positiveMS <60%: ?No association: 68
Job controlMS ⩾60%: 17,21,22,24,25,26,27MS ⩾60%: 4/7 = 57% positiveMS ⩾60%: 1.6, 1.7, 1.9, 4.0Positive findings: 68
MS <60%: 31,32,37,38MS <60%: 2/4 = 50% positiveMS <60%: ?No association: 65
Social supportMS ⩾60%: 17,20,21,24,25,26,27MS ⩾60%: 0/7 = 0% positiveMS ⩾60%: —Positive findings: 53
MS <60%: 31,32,37,38,43MS <60%: 3/5 = 60% positiveMS <60%: 1.6, ?No association: 65
Job satisfaction / stimulation at workMS ⩾60%: 17, 21,25,26,27MS ⩾60%: 3/5 = 60% positiveMS ⩾60%: 1.3, 1.5, 2.7Positive findings: 59
MS <60%: 30,31,35,36,37,38,43,45MS <60%: 3/7 = 43% positiveMS <60%: 2.5, ?No association: 53
  • 4-150 Some studies, particularly those with relatively poor method scores, did not present ORs or RRs. Other indicators of the strength of the association between exposures and shoulder pain (correlation coefficients, p values) are presented in table 3.

  • MS=method score (median method score was 60%).