IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 2990: Patterns in the Occurrence and Duration of Musculoskeletal Pain and Interference with Work among Eldercare Workers--A One-Year Longitudinal Study with Measurements Every Four Weeks (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
The objective of this study was to examine patterns of musculoskeletal pain episodes over time. We conducted a one-year follow-up study among 275 eldercare workers with measurements of musculoskeletal pain (low back pain (LBP) and neck/shoulder pain (NSP)) and pain-related work interference (PWI) reported via text message every four weeks. We found a constant, high four-weekly prevalence of LBP and NSP (between 61% and 72%). The distributions of pain episodes for LBP and NSP were similar with approximately 30% of the episodes being 7 days or less per four weeks. There was also a high recurrence of pain, with 33% reporting LBP or NSP every four weeks. In addition, 24% had pain at every measurement in both the low back and neck/shoulder regions combined throughout the year. On days with LBP or NSP, approximately 59% also reported interference with work, and 18% of the eldercare workers reported that pain interfered with their work all measurements throughout the year. A high proportion of eldercare workers reported pain every four weeks throughout the year and the four-weekly prevalence of pain remained high and constant on a group level. During most days with pain, eldercare workers were hampered in their regular work activities.