Prevalence and correlates of regional pain and associated disability in Japanese workers

MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton SO166YD, UK.
Occupational and environmental medicine (Impact Factor: 3.27). 03/2011; 68(3):191-6. DOI: 10.1136/oem.2009.053645
Source: PubMed


To assess the prevalence and correlates of regional pain and associated disability in four groups of Japanese workers.
As part of a large international survey of musculoskeletal symptoms (the CUPID study), nurses, office workers, sales/marketing personnel and transportation operatives in Japan completed a self-administered questionnaire (response rate 83%) covering experience of pain in six anatomical regions, associated disability and sickness absence, and various possible occupational and psychosocial risk factors for these outcomes. Associations with risk factors were assessed by logistic regression.
Analysis was based on 2290 subjects. Rates of regional pain were generally less than in the UK, with a particularly low prevalence of wrist/hand pain among office workers (6% in past month). The strongest and most consistent risk factor for regional pain in the past month was tendency to somatise (ORs (95% CIs) for report of ≥ 2 versus 0 distressing somatic symptoms 3.1 (2.4 to 4.0) for low back pain, 2.8 (2.1 to 3.8) for shoulder pain, and 2.5 (1.6 to 4.1) for wrist/hand pain). Sickness absence for regional pain complaints in the past year was reported by 5% of participants, the major risk factor for this outcome being absence during the same period for other medical reasons (OR 3.7, 95% CI 2.4 to 5.8).
Japanese office workers have markedly lower rates of wrist/hand pain than their UK counterparts. In Japan, as in Western Europe, somatising tendency is a major risk factor for regional pain. Sickness absence attributed to regional pain complaints appears to be much less common in Japan than in the UK, and to be driven principally by a general propensity to take sickness absence.

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Available from: Isabel C Reading, Apr 13, 2015
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    • "Previous studies demonstrated that occupational factors, such as long periods of sedentary posture and psychological factors due to dissatisfaction with a work situation, a supervisor, or a dead-end job and boredom, appear to promote the development of new chronic pain [4, 5]. Furthermore, the recent studies demonstrated that the psychosocial factors play important roles in chronic musculoskeletal pain [6–8]. Because the limitation of the present study was that the psychosocial factors were not examined, further study should be performed to clarify the effects of these factors on the chronic musculoskeletal pain in the future. "
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    • "Anxiety was assessed using 5 different scales across 6 studies; Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales (both English and Dutch version) [9,35], Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale [39], Beck Anxiety Index [40], Zung Anxiety Inventory [10], and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory [34]. General mental health was assessed using 3 different questionnaires; the Short Form-36 [33][37] the Mental Health Inventory [36] and the NHANES General Wellbeing Index [38]. "
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