Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Joint Bone Spine. 2011 Jul;78(4):392-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jbspin.2010.09.022. Epub 2010 Nov 18.

Work related characteristics of back and neck pain among employees of a Swiss University Hospital.

Author information

  • 1Division of Rheumatology, University Hospitals of Geneva, Hôpital Beau-Séjour, Genève 14, Switzerland. stephane.genevay@hcuge.ch



1) To explore the staff- and work-related risk factors for spinal pain among hospital employees, 2) to investigate the effect of staff- and work-related variables on the consequences of spinal pain, such as doctor visits and sick leave.


A mailed survey was carried out in a random sample of 2700 employees stratified for occupational categories (administration staff, nurses, nurse assistants, physicians, support staff and allied health professionals). The questionnaire measured self-reported spinal pain, consequences of pain, and work characteristics.


The response rate was 48.1% (1298/2700). The one-year prevalence of spinal pain was 67.3%, highest among nurses (75.6%) and lowest among support staff (54.9%). Reported work characteristics associated with spinal pain included frequent work at a poorly adapted work station (odds ratio (OR) 1.90 [1.24-2.93]) and having to maintain a position for a long time (OR 1.71 [1.25-2.34]). No significant correlations were observed with lifting, patient handling, material handling, or working on nightshift. Sickness leave due to spinal pain was significantly associated with duration of pain episode (OR 4.08 for>3 months compared to less than 10 days), and with work categories (OR 2.58 for nurse assistants compared to nurses).


In this population of hospital employees, being a nurse, working at a poorly adapted work place, and having to maintain positions for a long time were related independently to spinal pain. Nurse assistants had a higher risk of work absenteeism.

Copyright © 2010 Société française de rhumatologie. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk