Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2004;30(4):279-286    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.795

Work-related risk factors for the incidence and recurrence of shoulder and neck complaints among nursing-home and elderly-care workers

by Luime JJ, Kuiper JI, Koes BW, Verhaar JAN, Miedema HS, Burdorf A

Objectives This study assessed the differences and similarities in the incidence and recurrence of shoulder and neck complaints with respect to work-related physical, psychosocial, and personal risk factors.

Methods A prospective cohort study was carried out among 769 workers of nursing homes and homes for the elderly. At baseline, a questionnaire was used to collect data on personal characteristics, physical workload, psychosocial workload, and the presence of shoulder and neck complaints. After 1 and 2 years, follow-up data were collected on shoulder and neck complaints. Generalized estimation equations were used for analyzing risk factors for the participants with at least one follow-up measurement available (N=556, 72%).

Results In the multivariate model, adjusted for age and gender, obesity [odds ratio (OR) 2.12, 95% confidence interval (95%CI) 1.23-3.65] was related to the incidence of shoulder complaints. The incidence of neck complaints was increased for obesity (OR 1.81, 95% CI 1.07-3.05), work in awkward postures (OR 1.76, 95% CI 1.11-2.78), and poor or fair general health (OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.02-2.31). The recurrence of both shoulder and neck complaints was associated with chronic complaints at baseline (shoulder: OR 1.91, 95% 1.36-2.67; neck: OR 1.71, 95% 1.14-2.55) but not with work-related risk factors.

Conclusions The results suggest that there are differences in risk factors for the incidence and recurrence of shoulder and neck complaints.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 2000;26(1):7-19  2002;28(5):293-303  1996;22(4):251-259  2001;27(6):373-380
The following article refers to this text: 2012;38(6):485-488