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Clin J Pain. 2001 Dec;17(4 Suppl):S39-45.

Employment-related factors in chronic pain and chronic pain disability.

Author information

1
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada. robert.teasell@lhsc.on.ca

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Disability is a multifactorial phenomenon. Social scientists suggest that nonclinical factors, including age, education, and job status, correlate with disability.

OBJECTIVE:

Do employment-related factors predict chronic pain and/or chronic pain disability?

METHODOLOGY:

The literature search identified 15 observational studies to provide the evidence about this question.

RESULTS:

Review topics included job satisfaction, type of work, modified work and work autonomy, other employment-related factors, and socioeconomic status. Most subjects in the studies had low back pain. The studies used return to work as an outcome predicting chronic pain disability.

CONCLUSIONS:

Lack of modified work and lack of work autonomy predicted chronic pain disability (level 2). There was limited evidence (level 3) that lack of job satisfaction, perception of difficult job conditions and demands, heavy physical demands of the job, private rather than public employment, and lower socioeconomic group predict chronic pain disability. The number of years employed varied as a predictor in different studies (level 4b).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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