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Understanding Work Ability in Employees with Pain and Stress-Related Ill-Health: An Explorative Network Analysis of Individual Characteristics and Psychosocial Work Environment
Örebro University, School of Behavioural, Social and Legal Sciences. Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
Örebro University, School of Behavioural, Social and Legal Sciences. Institute of Psychology, University of Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, Austria.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1054-9462
Örebro University, School of Behavioural, Social and Legal Sciences.
Örebro University, School of Behavioural, Social and Legal Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6231-8477
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2024 (English)In: Journal of occupational rehabilitation, ISSN 1053-0487, E-ISSN 1573-3688Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Purpose: There is a wide range of individual and work environment factors that influence work ability among workers withpain and stress-related ill-health. The multiple interactions and overlap between these factors are insufficiently understood,and a network approach could mitigate limitations of previous research. This pilot study aimed to explore interactions betweenindividual characteristics and psychosocial work environment and potential links to long-term work ability.

Methods: Prospective data from a prevention project was used. Individuals (N = 147) with pain and/or stress-related ill-health(95% women) at public sector workplaces filled out baseline questionnaires about a collection of individual and work environ-ment factors, which were used for constructing undirected networks. The model was run in three subsamples of workplaces.Finally, a separate model was established with work ability at 6-month follow-up as outcome variable. A shortest pathwayanalysis was calculated to identify mediators of work ability.

Results: Symptom catastrophizing and perceived stress were the most influential factors in all network models. Symptomcatastrophizing and pain-disability risk were found to mediate the relation between perceived stress and long-term workability. Further, demand-control-support factors were interrelated, and patterns of interaction differed between differenttypes of workplaces.

Conclusion: The findings support the importance of individual factors, specifically symptom catastrophizing in an individual’scoping with pain or stress-problems and its influence on long-term work ability. Catastrophizing might play a role in stress-related disorders which should be further investigated. Individual and work environment factors interact and vary acrosscontext, which needs to be taken into consideration to prevent pain and stress-related ill-health at work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2024.
Keywords [en]
Chronic pain, Stress symptoms, Work ability, Network analysis
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-113621DOI: 10.1007/s10926-024-10200-3PubMedID: 38743130OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-113621DiVA, id: diva2:1857915
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2018-01273Örebro UniversityAvailable from: 2024-05-15 Created: 2024-05-15 Last updated: 2024-05-17Bibliographically approved

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Zetterberg, HedvigZhao, XiangBergbom, SofiaGolovchanova, NadezhdaFlink, IdaBoersma, Katja

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Journal of occupational rehabilitation
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