Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2004;30(6):459-467    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.835

Prognostic factors related to recurrent low-back pain and sickness absence

by van den Heuvel SG, Ariëns GAM, Boshuizen HC, Hoogendoorn WE, Bongers PM

Objectives This study aimed at determining the prognostic factors related to the recurrence of low-back pain and future sickness absence due to low-back pain.

Methods Data were used from a prospective cohort study in a working population with a 3-year follow-up period. They were collected with annual questionnaires. A generalized estimating equation model was used to study the relation between pain characteristics, individual characteristics, and work-related factors and the recurrence of low-back pain or sickness absence due to low-back pain in the following year. Adjustments were made for potential confounders.

Results All the pain characteristics [odds ratios (OR) varying from 1.4 to 2.4], flexion and rotation of the upper part of the body [OR 1.6, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.1–2.5], low decision authority (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.0–2.6), and low job satisfaction (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.0–2.3), increased the risk of recurrent low-back pain. High disability due to low-back pain (OR 2.6, 95% CI 1.2–5.7), low co-worker support (OR 4.1, 95% CI 1.6–10.5), and low job satisfaction (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.3–4.5) were predictors of sickness absence due to low-back pain. Lifting weights did not influence the risk of recurrences or sick leave.

Conclusions According to this study, high disability due to low-back pain is a prognostic factor for recurrent low-back pain and future sickness absence due to low-back pain. In addition, the following work-related factors predict a poor prognosis of low-back pain: flexion or rotation of the trunk, low job satisfaction, low decision authority, and low social support.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 1999;25(1):50-56  1999;25(5):387-403  2001;27(4):258-267
The following articles refer to this text: 2018;44(1):25-36; 2018;44(2):156-162