Social inequality in functional limitations and workability for people with musculoskeletal pain

Research output: Contribution to journalConference abstract in journalResearch

Musculoskeletal pain (MSP) is highly prevalent and have severe social consequences on the individual and societal level. MSP is one of the main causes for disability pension in Denmark and the early exit from the labour market poses a great public health problem. On the individual level, worries about remaining in employment is one of the main concerns for people with MSP. In addition, the burden of MSP is unevenly distributed across social groups. The aim of this study is to examine social inequality in the association between MSP and functional limitations and reduced work ability among older workers in Denmark and Sweden.

The study is based on data from the Danish and Swedish data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). The study population is based on the last wave of SHARE data collected in 2015 in the age group 50-64 years. MSP is assessed through questions on MSP in the last six months, daily pains, and pain coverage. Functional limitations were assessed through the Global Activity Limitations Index (GALI) and reduced work ability is estimated based on employment rates. In the analysis, socioeconomic status (based on educational groups) will be included as a potential effect modifier of the separate outcomes functional limitations and work ability.

Results (preliminary):
The association between MSP and functional limitations and reduced workability, respectively, is modified by socioeconomic status. The finding of social inequality confirms that the effect of experiencing MSP is higher for people in lower socioeconomic status.

Conclusions (preliminary):
MSP will, to a higher extent, translate into higher functional limitations and reduced work ability for people with low socioeconomic status.

Key messages:
•Reductions in social inequality in MSP has great public health potential.

•Targeted interventions to reduce MSP in groups with low socioeconomic status in vital for maintaining a healthy work force.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue numberSupplement 3
Pages (from-to)474-474
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017

ID: 187014521