Saf Health Work.  2010 Sep;1(1):37-42.

Association between Upper Extremity Musculoskeletal Disorders and Psychosocial Factors at Work: A Review on the Job DCS Model's Perspective

  • 1Center for Occupational Disease Research, Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute, KOSHA, Incheon, Korea.


Over years it has been increasingly concerned with how upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders (UEMSDs) are attributed to psychosocial job stressors. A review study was conducted to examine associations between UEMSDs and psychosocial work factors, and to recommend what to consider for the associations. For studies in which the job demand-control-support (DCS) model or its variables were specifically employed, published papers were selected and reviewed. A number of studies have reported relationships between UEMSDs symptoms and psychosocial exposure variables. For example, the findings are: higher numbness in the upper extremity was significantly attributed to by less decision latitude at work; work demands were significantly associated with neck and shoulder symptoms while control over time was associated with neck symptoms; and the combination of high psychosocial demands and low decision latitude was a significant predictor for shoulder and neck pain in a female working population. Sources of bias, such as interaction or study design, were discussed. UEMSDs were shown to be associated with psychosocial work factors in various studies where the job DCS model was addressed. Nonetheless, this review suggests that further studies should be conducted to much more clarify the association between UEMSDs and psychosocial factors.


Upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders; Psychosocial work factors; Job DCS model

MeSH Terms

Bias (Epidemiology)
Neck Pain
Upper Extremity
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