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August/September 2013 (vol. 10/2)

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Research Plus

Psychosocial factors in the development of MSDs

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) of the neck and shoulder are common: for example, nearly half (46%) of employees aged over 56 in Germany report pain during or immediately after work. This systematic review (18 included studies, 16 of high quality) sought to establish if psychosocial factors have an independent and incremental effect on the development of such conditions over time. There is strong evidence for an incremental effect of high job demands, low job control, high job strain and low social support at work (particularly co-worker support) on neck and/or shoulder conditions. There is moderate evidence for an incremental effect of low decision authority (a component of decision latitude) on neck/shoulder MSDs, but insufficient evidence on the impact of mental stress. More evidence is needed to quantify the observed effects.

International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 2013; 86: 375–395


Occupational Health at Work August/September 2013 (vol. 10/2) pp41