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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 15834-15842; doi:10.3390/ijerph121215024

The Consequence of Combined Pain and Stress on Work Ability in Female Laboratory Technicians: A Cross-Sectional Study

1
Department of Physical Activity and Health, Institute for Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense 5230, Denmark
2
National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen 2100, Denmark
3
Physical Activity and Human Performance group, SMI Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Aalborg 9220, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Cary Cooper
Received: 20 October 2015 / Revised: 2 December 2015 / Accepted: 8 December 2015 / Published: 11 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Stress, Human Health and Wellbeing)
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Abstract

Musculoskeletal pain and stress-related disorders are leading causes of impaired work ability, sickness absences and disability pensions. However, knowledge about the combined detrimental effect of pain and stress on work ability is lacking. This study investigates the association between pain in the neck-shoulders, perceived stress, and work ability. In a cross-sectional survey at a large pharmaceutical company in Denmark 473 female laboratory technicians replied to questions about stress (Perceived Stress Scale), musculoskeletal pain intensity (scale 0–10) of the neck and shoulders, and work ability (Work Ability Index). General linear models tested the association between variables. In the multi-adjusted model, stress (p < 0.001) and pain (p < 0.001) had independent main effects on the work ability index score, and there was no significant stress by pain interaction (p = 0.32). Work ability decreased gradually with both increased stress and pain. Workers with low stress and low pain had the highest Work Ability Index score (44.6 (95% CI 43.9–45.3)) and workers with high stress and high pain had the lowest score (32.7 (95% CI 30.6–34.9)). This cross-sectional study indicates that increased stress and musculoskeletal pain are independently associated with lower work ability in female laboratory technicians. View Full-Text
Keywords: pain stress relationship; behavior; social factors; fear-avoidance; biopsychosocial; learned helplessness; resources and demands pain stress relationship; behavior; social factors; fear-avoidance; biopsychosocial; learned helplessness; resources and demands
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Jay, K.; Friborg, M.K.; Sjøgaard, G.; Jakobsen, M.D.; Sundstrup, E.; Brandt, M.; Andersen, L.L. The Consequence of Combined Pain and Stress on Work Ability in Female Laboratory Technicians: A Cross-Sectional Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 15834-15842.

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