Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2004;30(1):47-55    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.764

Psychosocial job factors and the one-year evolution of back-related functional limitations

by Leroux I, Dionne CE, Bourbonnais R

Objectives This 1-year prospective study aimed at assessing the association between some psychosocial job characteristics and back-related functional limitations.

Methods The participants were 849 workers who sought medical consultation for nonspecific back pain in primary care settings of the Quebec City area. Information on job decision latitude, psychological demands, and social support at work was collected during a telephone interview conducted after the medical consultation. Back-related functional limitations were measured at baseline and 1 year later with the Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire. The analyses were stratified by gender. Social support at work and the type of back pain were considered potential effect modifiers. Several potential confounders were also considered in the multiple regression analyses that were conducted to isolate the effect of the job psychological demands and decision latitude on the 1-year level of back-related functional limitations.

Results A modest difference in the 1-year Roland-Morris average scores was found only among the women and only for the association between job decision latitude with back-related functional limitations, according to the level of social support at work. This difference was of limited clinical significance. Analyses by type of back pain showed, however, a clinically significant association between the combination of high psychological demands and low decision latitude and back-related functional limitations only for subjects with persistent pain

Conclusions Job psychological demands and decision latitude have little influence on the 1-year evolution of back-related functional limitations for one-time and recurrent back-pain problems. However, our results suggest that this association could be important for workers with persistent pain.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 1995;21(6):435-439  1995;21(2):134-142  2001;27(4):258-267
The following article refers to this text: 2008;34(6):438-443