Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health Online-first -article    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.3684

A screening tool for the risk of disability retirement due to musculoskeletal disorders

by Shiri R, Heliövaara M, Ahola K, Kaila-Kangas L, Haukka E, Kausto J, Saastamoinen P, Leino-Arjas P, Lallukka T

Objective This study aimed to develop and validate a risk screening tool using a points system to assess the risk of future disability retirement due to musculoskeletal disorders (MSD).

Methods The development population, the Health 2000 Survey, consisted of a nationally representative sample of Finnish employees aged 30–60 years (N=3676) and the validation population, the Helsinki Health Study, consisted of employees of the City of Helsinki aged 40–60 years (N=6391). Both surveys were linked to data on disability retirement awards due to MSD from national register for an 11-year follow-up.

Results The discriminative ability of the model with seven predictors was good (Gönen and Heller’s K concordance statistic=0.821). We gave points to seven predictors: sex-dependent age, level of education, pain limiting daily activities, multisite musculoskeletal pain, history of arthritis, and surgery for a spinal disorder or carpal tunnel syndrome. A score of 3 or higher out of 7 (top 30% of the index) had good sensitivity (83%) and specificity (70%). Individuals at the top 30% of the risk index were at 29 [95% confidence interval (CI) 15–55) times higher risk of disability retirement due to MSD than those at the bottom 40%.

Conclusion This easy-to-use screening tool based on self-reported risk factor profiles can help identify individuals at high risk for disability retirement due to MSD.

This article refers to the following text of the Journal: 2009;35(1):1-5
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