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December/January 2012/2013 (vol. 09/4)

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Research Plus

Work–family conflict in healthcare workers

Conflict between a healthcare worker’s work and family roles is significantly associated with musculoskeletal pain in hospital workers and may be a useful health promotion domain for the healthcare sector. A total of 1,199 hospital workers in Boston, in the US, were recruited from 12 different healthcare settings, including emergency room, intensive care, paediatrics, psychiatry and orthopaedics; 74% were nurses and 90% were female. Work–family conflict was measured using a validated questionnaire, while musculoskeletal pain in the past three months was assessed using the Standardised Nordic Questionnaire. High work–family conflict was significantly associated with any musculoskeletal pain (odds ratio = 2.45; 95% CI 1.56–3.85); neck or shoulder pain (2.34; 1.64–3.34), arm pain (2.79; 1.64–4.75) and lower extremity pain (2.20; 1.54–3.15). The associations remained significant after controlling for working conditions, psychosocial factors, ergonomic practice and physical work factors. An association with low back pain was non-significant after controlling for confounding factors.

American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2012; online first: doi: 10.1002/ajim.22120.


Occupational Health at Work December/January 2012/2013 (vol. 09/4) pp40