Upper limb pain in primary care: health beliefs, somatic distress, consulting and patient satisfaction
ABSTRACT Beliefs and mental well-being could influence decisions to consult about upper limb pain and satisfaction with care.
To describe beliefs about upper limb pain in the community and explore associations of beliefs and mental health with consulting and dissatisfaction.
Questionnaires were mailed to 4998 randomly chosen working-aged patients from general practices in Avon. We asked about upper limb pain, consulting, beliefs about symptoms, dissatisfaction with care, somatizing tendency (using elements of the Brief Symptom Inventory) and mental well-being (using the Short-Form 36). Associations were explored by logistic regression.
Among 2632 responders, 1271 reported arm pain during the past 12 months, including 389 consulters. A third or more of responders felt that arm pain sufferers should avoid physical activity, that problems would persist beyond 3 months, that a doctor should be seen straightaway and that neglect could lead to permanent harm. Consulters were significantly more likely to agree with these statements than other upper limb pain sufferers. The proportion of consultations attributable to such beliefs was substantial. Dissatisfaction with care was commoner in those with poor mental health: the OR for being dissatisfied (worst versus best third of the distribution) was 3.2 (95% CI 1.2-8.5) for somatizing tendency and 2.4 (95% CI 1.3-4.7) for SF-36 score. Both factors were associated with dissatisfaction about doctors' sympathy, communication and care in examining.
Negative beliefs about upper limb pain are common and associated with consulting. Somatizers and those in poorer mental health tend, subsequently, to feel dissatisfied with care.
- SourceAvailable from: Michael J. Griffin[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This study investigated risk factors for low-back pain among patients referred for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), with special focus on whole-body vibration. A case-control approach was used. The study population comprised working-aged persons from a catchment area for radiology services. The cases were those in a consecutive series referred for a lumbar MRI because of low-back pain. The controls were age- and gender-matched persons X-rayed for other reasons. Altogether, 252 cases and 820 controls were studied, including 185 professional drivers. The participants were questioned about physical factors loading the spine, psychosocial factors, driving, personal characteristics, mental health, and certain beliefs about low-back pain. Exposure to whole-body vibration was assessed by six measures, including weekly duration of professional driving, hours driven in one period, and current root mean square A(8). Associations with whole-body vibration were examined with adjustment for age, gender, and other potential confounders. Strong associations were found with poor mental health and belief in work as a causal factor for low-back pain, and with occupational sitting for > or =3 hours while not driving. Associations were also found for taller stature, consulting propensity, body mass index, smoking history, fear-avoidance beliefs, frequent twisting, low decision latitude, and low support at work. However, the associations with the six metrics of whole-body vibration were weak and not statistically significant, and no exposure-response relationships were found. Little evidence of a risk from professional driving or whole-body vibration was found. Drivers were substantially less heavily exposed to whole-body vibration than in some earlier surveys. Nonetheless, it seems that, at the population level, whole-body vibration is not an important cause of low-back pain among those referred for MRI.Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health 10/2008; 34(5):364-73. DOI:10.5271/sjweh.1282 · 3.10 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To describe the prevalence, characteristics and impact of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in New Zealand nurses, postal workers and office workers. A postal survey asked participants about MSDs, (low back, neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist/hand or knee pain lasting longer than one day), and demographic, physical and psychosocial factors. Nurses were randomly selected from the Nursing Council database, postal workers from their employer's database and office workers from the 2005 electoral roll. The response rate of potentially eligible participants was 58% (n=443). Participants were aged 20-59 years; 86% were female. Over the 12 months prior to the survey 88% of respondents had at least one MSD lasting longer than a day and 72% reported an MSD present for at least seven days. Of the 1,003 MSDs reported, 18% required time off work and 24% required modified work duties. In the month prior to the survey 17% of MSDs made functional tasks difficult or impossible. Low back, neck and shoulder pain prevalence did not differ by occupation. Postal workers had the highest prevalence of elbow and wrist/hand pain; nurses of knee pain. The high prevalence of MSDs among these workers indicates that they are indeed in 'at risk' occupations. In each occupational group MSDs encompass a range of anatomical sites, however the overall pattern of MSDs differs by occupation. MSDs have a significant impact on activities at work and home. Primary and secondary prevention strategies should encompass a range of anatomical sites and specifically target different occupational groups.Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 10/2009; 33(5):437-41. DOI:10.1111/j.1753-6405.2009.00425.x · 1.90 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate whether whole-body vibration (WBV) is associated with prolapsed lumbar intervertebral disc (PID) and nerve root entrapment among patients with low-back pain (LBP) undergoing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). METHODS: A consecutive series of patients referred for lumbar MRI because of LBP were compared with controls X-rayed for other reasons. Subjects were questioned about occupational activities loading the spine, psychosocial factors, driving, personal characteristics, mental health, and certain beliefs about LBP. Exposure to WBV was assessed by six measures, including weekly duration of professional driving, hours driven at a spell, and current 8-hour daily equivalent root-mean-square acceleration A(8). Cases were sub-classified according to whether or not PID/nerve root entrapment was present. Associations with WBV were examined separately for cases with and without these MRI findings, with adjustment for age, sex, and other potential confounders. RESULTS: Altogether, 237 cases and 820 controls were studied, including 183 professional drivers and 176 cases with PID and/or nerve root entrapment. Risks associated with WBV tended to be lower for LBP with PID/nerve root entrapment but somewhat higher for risks of LBP without these abnormalities. However, associations with the six metrics of exposure were all weak and not statistically significant. Neither exposure-response relationships nor increased risk of PID/nerve root entrapment from professional driving or exposure at an A(8) above the European Union daily exposure action level were found. CONCLUSIONS: WBV may be a cause of LBP but it was not associated with PID or nerve root entrapment in this study.Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health 01/2012; 38(6). DOI:10.5271/sjweh.3273 · 3.10 Impact Factor