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Loss of productivity due to neck/shoulder symptoms and hand/arm symptoms: Results from the PROMO-study

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Author: Heuvel, S.G. van den · IJmker, S. · Blatter, B.M. · Korte, E.M. de
Institution: TNO Kwaliteit van Leven
Source:Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 3, 17, 370-382
Identifier: 240160
Keywords: Workplace · Veilig en Gezond Werken · Computer workers · Musculoskeletal symptoms · Presenteeism · Confidence interval · Hand · Job satisfaction · Leisure · Logistic regression analysis · Medical leave · Multivariate analysis · Neck · Pain assessment · Physical activity · Productivity · Psychological aspect · Reward · Self report · Statistical significance · Statistics · Symptom · Work · Worker · Working time · Absenteeism · Cohort Studies · Computers · Cross-Sectional Studies · Cumulative Trauma Disorders · Efficiency · Health Surveys · Humans · Musculoskeletal Diseases · Neck Pain · Netherlands · Occupational Diseases · Shoulder Pain · Upper Extremity


Introduction: The objective of the present study is to describe the extent of productivity loss among computer workers with neck/shoulder symptoms and hand/arm symptoms, and to examine associations between pain intensity, various physical and psychosocial factors and productivity loss in computer workers with neck/shoulder and hand/arm symptoms. Methods: A cross-sectional design was used. The study population consisted of 654 computer workers with neck/shoulder or hand/arm symptoms from five different companies. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the occurrence of self-reported productivity loss. Logistic regression analyses were used to examine the associations. Results: In 26% of all the cases reporting symptoms, productivity loss was involved, the most often in cases reporting both symptoms (36%). Productivity loss involved sickness absence in 11% of the arm/hand cases, 32% of the neck/shoulder cases and 43% of the cases reporting both symptoms. The multivariate analyses showed statistically significant odds ratios for pain intensity (OR: 1.26; CI: 1.12-1.41), for high effort/no low reward (OR: 2.26; CI: 1.24-4.12), for high effort/low reward (OR: 1.95; CI: 1.09-3.50), and for low job satisfaction (OR: 3.10; CI: 1.44-6.67). Physical activity in leisure time, full-time work and overcommitment were not associated with productivity loss. Conclusion: In most computer workers with neck/shoulder symptoms or hand/arm symptoms productivity loss derives from a decreased performance at work and not from sickness absence. Favorable psychosocial work characteristics might prevent productivity loss in symptomatic workers. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.