• Thursday, October 04, 2012RSS Feed

    Providers With Work-Family Conflict More Likely to Experience Musculoskeletal Pain

    A study by The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services suggests that the higher the work-family conflict the greater the risk that health care workers will suffer from neck and other types of musculoskeletal pain. 

    To examine if an association exists between work-family conflict and musculoskeletal pain among hospital patient care workers, researchers conducted a survey among 2,000 hospital workers who provided direct patient care in 2 large Boston hospitals. Nearly 80% of the workers took the survey. The research team included 1,199 patient care workers in the current analysis. The team assessed work-family conflict with 5 questions. Researchers asked workers if they agreed with statements such as "The amount of time my job takes up makes it difficult to fulfill family or personal responsibilities" and "My job produces strain that makes it difficult to fulfill my family or personal responsibilities."

    In addition, the team used a questionnaire to assess how much the participants in the study experienced musculoskeletal pain during the previous 3 months. It also recorded factors that might affect the outcome of the study, such as the amount of on-the-job lifting or pulling.

    The researchers discovered that nurses and other employees who reported high conflict between their job duties and obligations at home had about a 2 times greater chance of suffering from neck or shoulder pain in the last 3 months. Workers with the highest work-life imbalance had nearly a 3 times greater risk of reporting arm pain during that period.

    The researchers found that workers who reported a lot of conflict had more than a 2 times greater chance of experiencing any kind of musculoskeletal pain. At the same time, the research found no lasting link between this kind of ongoing conflict and lower back pain, which might be caused when hospital workers lift heavy patients on a regular basis.

    Lead author Seung-Sup Kim says that the work-home conflict might exacerbate shortages of key health professionals caused when burned-out nurses or other health professionals retire early or leave the field because of the stress. In addition, Kim says, workers distracted by issues at home or by ongoing muscular pain might be more likely to call in sick or if they do show up for work might provide less than attentive care.


    Comments

    Am I allowed to say "Well, duhhh" - ask any PT mom!
    Posted by Melanie Welch PT on 10/7/2012 9:18 PM
    "Healing Back Pain" by John E. Sarno, M.D. Copyright 1991. Dr. Sarno stated this concept a long time ago regarding stress and muscloskeletal pain for most everybody.
    Posted by Bob Sheridan PTA on 10/10/2012 1:25 PM
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