Saf Health Work.  2015 Jun;6(2):128-133. 10.1016/j.shaw.2015.03.002.

Relationship between Comorbid Health Problems and Musculoskeletal Disorders Resulting in Musculoskeletal Complaints and Musculoskeletal Sickness Absence among Employees in Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Occupational Health Team, Chungbuk Area Office, Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency, Chungbuk, Korea.
  • 2Safety Management and Policy Research Department, Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute, Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency, Ulsan, Korea.
  • 3Occupational Safety Research Department, Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute, Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency, Ulsan, Korea. khyi77@hanmail.net

Abstract

BACKGROUND
To investigate the relationship between musculoskeletal disorders and comorbid health problems, including depression/anxiety disorder, insomnia/sleep disorder, fatigue, and injury by accident, and to determine whether certain physical and psychological factors reduce comorbid health problems.
METHODS
In total, 29,711 employees were selected from respondents of the Third Korean Working Conditions Survey and categorized into two groups: Musculoskeletal Complaints or Musculoskeletal Sickness Absence. Four self-reported health indicators (overall fatigue, depression/anxiety, insomnia/sleep disorder, and injury by accident) were selected as outcomes, based on their high prevalence in Korea. We used multiple logistic regression analysis to determine the relationship between comorbid health problems, musculoskeletal complaints, and sickness absence.
RESULTS
The prevalence of musculoskeletal complaints and musculoskeletal sickness absence due to muscular pain was 32.26% and 0.59%, respectively. Compared to the reference group, depression/anxiety disorder and overall fatigue were 5.2-6.1 times more prevalent in the Musculoskeletal Complaints Group and insomnia/sleep disorder and injury by accident were 7.6-11.0 times more prevalent in the Sickness Absence Group. When adjusted for individual and work-related physical factors, prevalence of all four comorbid health problems were slightly decreased in both groups.
CONCLUSION
Increases in overall fatigue and depression/anxiety disorder were observed in the Musculoskeletal Complaints Group, while increases in insomnia/sleep disorder and injury by accident were observed in the Sickness Absence Group. For management of musculoskeletal complaints and sickness absence in the workplace, differences in health problems between employees with musculoskeletal complaints and those with sickness absence as well as the physical and psychological risk factors should be considered.

Keyword

comorbid health problems; musculoskeletal complaints; musculoskeletal sickness absence
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