Musculoskeletal problems are among the most prevalent occupational health problems in industrialised countries and seem to be common among unskilled, female industrial workers. However, cross-sectional studies only reflect the current situation with regard to both exposure and effect, and selection bias may mask work-related musculoskeletal problems so the general assumption is that prospective cohort studies are more valid and informative. The aim with the present study was to follow-up a group of unskilled female workers and determine whether the number of musculoskeletal ailments reported had changed after 3 years on a group and/or on an individual level. The women had earlier participated in a cross-sectional study correlating exposure with different physical and psychosocial factors at work, at home and during leisure time with their reports of musculoskeletal ailments in the neck, shoulders and thoracic spine.
One hundred and fifty-three women from the original study group of 173 received a mailed questionnaire, including a visual analogue scale (VAS) and a pain drawing.
Ninety-three women were included in the final analyses. Some deterioration in general health and, in particular, in psychological health was observed compared with the earlier study but there was less change in the reporting of musculoskeletal ailments.
Economic decline and its consequences may have had both a direct and an indirect impact on the deterioration in general health but not in musculoskeletal problems of the women still employed.
Title and Abstract from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Data mined from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Last MEDLINE®/PubMed® update: 1st of December 2015