Pain intensity and care-seeking does not influence sickness absence for widespread pain

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Pain intensity and care-seeking does not influence sickness absence for widespread pain

According to the latest study by Moose S, etal., the intensity of pain and care-seeking because of musculoskeletal disorders did not seem to influence the association between the number of pain locations and later sickness absence.

Until now, the effect of pain intensity on the association between widespread pain and sickness absence had not been studied extensively.  However, both musculoskeletal pain-intensity concerning a specific location (like lower back or shoulder) and pain in multiple body regions have been shown to be related to impaired function and sickness absence. Also, it is unknown whether care-seeking in general practice because of musculoskeletal disorders has a positive or negative effect on future absenteeism.

Mose S, et al., investigated the influence of pain intensity on the association between the number of musculoskeletal pain sites and sickness absence, and to assess the effect on absenteeism from care-seeking in general because of musculoskeletal disorders.

In February 2008, a total of 3745 Danish adults registered with eight General Practitioners (GPs) in one primary medical center delineated location and intensity of experienced musculoskeletal pain in seven different body regions. From 4 years, the outcome was timespan of sickness absence based on register data split into long-term (>52 weeks during follow-up) and sickness absence of shorter timespan (12–52 weeks during follow-up). The data on pain-intensity were investigated at three different cut-off stages for each body region: i) > 1 (any pain), ii) > 2 (bothersome pain), iii) > 3 (very bothersome pain). The analyses were divided and distinguished between people without GP contact and people with GP contact because of musculoskeletal disorders.

Musculoskeletal pain in more than two body regions was strongly analogous to long-term sickness absence in an exposure-response pattern. Different cut-off levels of pain intensity and adjustment for age, sex, educational level and work environmental factors did not have any impact on the results. Although the association was weaker, similar findings were noticed for sickness absence of shorter duration.

It was thus concluded that the intensity of pain and care-seeking does not influence the association between the number of pain locations and later sickness absence. The number of musculoskeletal pain locations seems to be a powerful risk factor for later sickness absence.

Source:

BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2016 May 04

Link to the source:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4855327/

The original title of the article:

Widespread pain – do pain intensity and care-seeking influence sickness absence? – A population-based cohort study

Authors

Soren Mose et al.

SearchTags: 
Exploratory, Pain, Population-based Cohort Study
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