Work-related determinants of multi-site musculoskeletal pain among employees in the health care sector Academic Article uri icon


  • Work-related musculoskeletal pain is a major occupational problem. Those with pain in multiple sites usually report worse health outcomes than those with pain in one site.This study explored prevalence and associated predictors of multi-site pain in health care sector employees.Survey responses from 1348 health care sector employees across three organisations (37% response rate) collected data on job satisfaction, work life balance, psychosocial and physical hazards, general health and work ability. Musculoskeletal discomfort was measured across 5 body regions with pain in ≥ 2 sites defined as multi-site pain. Generalized linear models were used to identify relationships between work-related factors and multi-site pain.Over 52% of the employees reported pain in multiple body sites and 19% reported pain in one site. Poor work life balance (PRR = 2.33, 95% CI = 1.06-5.14). physical (PRR = 7.58, 95% CI = 4.89-11.77) and psychosocial (PRR = 1.59, 95% CI = 1.00-2.57) hazard variables were related to multi-site pain (after controlling for age, gender, health and work ability. Older employees and females were more likely to report multi-site pain.Effective risk management of work related multi-site pain must include identification and control of psychosocial and physical hazards.

publication date

  • 2016

published in