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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


WALSH, IAP et al. Work ability of subjects with chronic musculoskeletal disorders. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2004, vol.38, n.2, pp.149-156. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of personal, clinical, and occupational aspects on work ability of workers with and without work-related musculoskeletal disorders using the Work Ability Index. METHODS: There were participating 127 workers of industrial production lines of a medium-size multinational company. An approved version of the Work Ability Index, a questionnaire developed by Finland's Institute of Occupational Health, was used. Pain scale was also applied. A descriptive analysis was carried out using the Chi-square test and it was also performed a logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: A significant association was identified between the Work Ability Index and all personal, clinical and occupational aspects. Regression analysis showed that pain and sick leave together accounted for 59% of poor work ability. CONCLUSIONS: Different levels of pain severity were associated with distinct as well as equivalent levels of work ability loss. The results suggest that either pain reports were consistent or being both pain and work ability self-reported they therefore reflect the same perception mechanisms. Future studies might contribute to further understanding the trends found.

Keywords : Musculoskeletal disorders; Work ability index; Chronic pain; Industrial work.

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