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      Risk factors for back pain incidence in industry: a prospective study :

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      Pain

      Elsevier BV

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          Abstract

          The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between physical and psychological risk factors on the one hand, and the occurrence of new episodes of back pain on the other hand. A prospective study was conducted with 12 months follow-up by means of self-administered questionnaires. The study took place in the Cargo Department of a major Dutch airline company. The subjects for this study were 270 workers involved in heavy physical work. Only workers without back pain at baseline were included. Self-reported back pain and sick leave due to back pain during the follow-up period were measured. Of the 238 workers included in the analysis, 73 (31%) developed a new episode of back pain during the follow-up period, and 27 (11%) subjects reported sick leave due to back pain. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that the history of back pain was the best predictor for the occurrence of a new episode of back pain during follow-up (OR 9.8; 95% CI 2.8-34.4 for subjects who had back pain more than twice in the past year). Low job satisfaction was also associated with an increased risk for the occurrence of back pain during follow-up (OR 1.2; 95% CI 1.01-1.4). Riding a forklift truck appeared to be a protective factor for the occurrence of back pain (OR 0.7; 95% CI 0.5-0.99). In this study the best predictors for the occurrence of back pain were the history of back complaints and low job satisfaction. Although it needs to be confirmed by future intervention studies, the results indicate that increasing job satisfaction may be a successful (co-)intervention for the prevention of back pain at the workplace.

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          Most cited references 10

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          A Prospective Study of Work Perceptions and Psychosocial Factors Affecting the Report of Back Injury

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            Absence resulting from low back trouble can be reduced by psychosocial intervention at the work place.

            A 1-year prospective study in industry, assessing effects of an educational pamphlet on various psychosocial parameters and absenteeism resulting from low back trouble. To determine the value of distributing an educational psychosocial pamphlet to reduce absenteeism resulting from back trouble. The pamphlet was designed to alter avoidance behaviors by encouraging a positive, active approach. Attempts to control back-pain disability have failed. Fear of pain and activity seemingly leads to avoidance behaviors than contribute to chronicity and work loss. Avoidance behaviors are mediated by attitudes and beliefs; such attitudes and beliefs are a reasonable target for educational interventions designed to change "inappropriate" behaviors (e.g., extended absenteeism). Health education pamphlets are advocated widely but tested rarely. Three factories participated in the study. Psychosocial data were collected by questionnaires; absence data were extracted from company records. A psychosocial pamphlet was distributed in one factory; the control subjects received either a nonspecific pamphlet or no intervention. The pamphlet emphasized a positive approach to low back trouble (reduction of negative beliefs and attitudes). In the company whose employees received pamphlets, a significant reduction occurred for the number of spells with extended absence and the number of days of absence (70% and 60%, respectively) compared with extrapolated values. A concomitant positive shift in beliefs concerning the locus of pain control and the inevitable consequences of low back trouble was found. A simple industrial intervention using a psychosocial pamphlet, which was designed to reduce avoidance behaviors by fostering positive beliefs and attitudes, successfully reduced extended absence resulting from low back trouble.
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              Medical, social and occupational history as risk indicators for low-back trouble in a general population.

              Sixty-eight medical, social, and occupational history variables were analyzed in a general population of 442 men and 478 women, aged 30, 40, 50, and 60 years to identify possible indicators for first-time experience and recurrence or persistence of low-back trouble (LBT) during a 1-year follow-up. Variables that in univariate analyses showed statistically significant indications for future LBT were subjected to stepwise logistic regression analyses. The most important indicators for recurrence or persistence of LBT thus identified were, for men, intermittent claudication, restlessness, or other discomfort in the lower limbs, frequent headache, and living alone. For women, the corresponding indicators were rumbling of "the stomach" and feeling of fatigue. For first-time experience of LBT, the indicators identified by the regression analyses were frequent pain in the top of the stomach, previous hospitalizations and operations, daily smoking, and a long distance from home to work. The result suggests that the population likely to experience future LBT does not enjoy good general health even prior to its first LBT episode, and this, in turn, may be due to greater psychosocial pressure.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Pain
                Pain
                Elsevier BV
                0304-3959
                1998
                July 1998
                : 77
                : 1
                : 81-86
                Article
                10.1016/S0304-3959(98)00085-2
                9755022
                © 1998

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