Epidemiology of work related neck and upper limb problems: Psychosocial and personal risk factors (Part I) and effective interventions from a bio behavioural perspective (Part II)
One hundred and eleven females volunteered to take part in this intervention study of musculoskeletal pain. They all completed a survey of pain among five hundred and eighty-six female hospital staff and presented mild to severe pain in the neck, shoulder and/or low back. They were randomly assigned to one of the following groups; Focus on job-stress and psychosocial coping (Cognitive), relaxation training (Relaxation), the combination of the two (Combined) or to a control group (Control). Musculoskeletal pain (intensity and duration) was assessed by self-report prior to interventions, immediately after interventions, and at a four months follow-up. Results from multivariate analyses of variance as well as covariance (pre-intervention levels of pain as covariate) showed that magnitude of pain reduction was dependent upon the interaction between area of the back and type of intervention. These trends were more significant for intensity than for duration scores. They were due to reductions of pain in (1) neck and shoulders for the Cognitive and Combined groups and (2) in the low back and shoulders for the Relaxation group. The four month follow-up assessment revealed a significant risk of relapse only for duration of low back pain among subjects in the Combined group. Results from the Cognitive approach to intervention may reflect a causal role for ability to cope with psychosocial job stress in the development of neck and shoulder pain in female hospital staff.