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The role of psychosocial factors in musculoskeletal disorders
Title of the book
Bridging occupational, organizational and public health : a transdisciplinary approach
Zürich : Springer
Bauer Georg F., Hämmig Oliver
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are the most prevalent pain disorders in industrialized countries, and their costs can represent up to 2% of gross national product. MSD are often work associated and recurrent and may lead to disability. In occupational health we are interested in the opposite process : in the return to work (RTW). Different models of disability and RTW exist with different conceptions of psychosocial factors. We therefore propose to analyze the influence of factors from work, patient, health care providers, and broader societal domains along the different phases of the MSD process, adopting a biopsychosocial approach. The analysis of risk factors for the different phases of MSD indicate that work stress factors have an impact on the occurrence of MSD and RTW with MSD, but their effect is low to moderate and nonspecific. Physical work demands, work place adaptation, and pain experience are much stronger predictors of RTW. Lack of modified or adapted work is one of the major factors that hinder RTW. The longer the pain lasts, the longer the patient is out of work, the more personal factors and broader context factors become dominant. There is a clear lack of RTW studies concerning neck and upper limb pain. MSD and especially chronic MSD should be viewed as public health concerns, implying a wider socio-economic and insurance and disability problem. Adequate medical support tailored to the different dimensions and phases of MSD must be on offer, and work accommodations must be promoted and supported.
Musculoskeletal Diseases , Occupational Health , Employment , Stress, Psychological , Risk Factors , Switzerland
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