December/January 2011/2012 (vol. 08/4)

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Research Plus

Does pain predict absence in healthcare workers?

A prospective cohort study involving nearly 9,000 healthcare workers involved in elderly care finds that pain in different body regions predicts future sickness absence. Chronic pain in the lower back (47% increased risk), neck and shoulder (60%) and knees (92%) were all significant risk factors for future long-term sickness absence during the 12-month follow-up (after adjusting for personal factors and psychosocial working conditions). Lower back pain did not remain as a significant risk factor after mutually adjusting for pain in other regions.

International archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 2011; online first: doi:10.1007/s00420-011-0709-5


Occupational Health at Work December/January 2011/2012 (vol. 08/4) pp40