Recurrent pain and work disability: a record linkage study

Tea Lallukka , Aapo Hiilamo , Jodi Oakman , Minna Mänty , Olli Pietiläinen , Ossi Rahkonen , Anne Kouvonen Piotrowska , Jaana I. Halonen


Purpose We examined the associations between recurrent single- and multisite pain and incident sickness absence (SA) of different lengths and the risk of disability pension (DP). Methods The data were derived from the Finnish Helsinki Health Study. Pain measures were recorded for panel 1 in 2000/2 and 2007, and for panel 2 in 2007 and 2012 (altogether 3191 employees). SA data were obtained from the employer’s personnel register and DP events from the Finnish Centre for Pensions. Negative binomial regression models with generalized estimation equations were used to model the incidence of self-certified short- (1–3 days), and medically certified medium- (4–14 days) and long-term (more than 14 days) SA episodes. Cox regression models were fitted for the associations between pain and all-cause DP and competing risk models for DP by diagnostic groups. Social and health-related covariates were adjusted for. Results Recurrent pain was associated with short-, medium- and long-term SA. Additionally, recurrent single- and multisite pain increased the risk of long-term SA. Recurrent single or multisite pain was further associated with an increased risk of DP, while a single instance of pain did not increase the risk. Conclusions These results suggest that recurrent pain is a robust determinant of subsequent SA and DP risk. Improved understanding of determinants of recurrent pain is needed to inform the development of targeted measures to reduce SA and premature exit from employment.
Author Tea Lallukka
Tea Lallukka,,
, Aapo Hiilamo
Aapo Hiilamo,,
, Jodi Oakman
Jodi Oakman,,
, Minna Mänty
Minna Mänty,,
, Olli Pietiläinen
Olli Pietiläinen,,
, Ossi Rahkonen
Ossi Rahkonen,,
, Anne Kouvonen Piotrowska (Filia we Wrocławiu)
Anne Kouvonen Piotrowska,,
- Filia we Wrocławiu
, Jaana I. Halonen
Jaana I. Halonen,,
Journal seriesInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, e-ISSN 1432-1246, (N/A 100 pkt)
Issue year2020
Publication size in sheets0.55
Keywords in EnglishSingle site pain, Multisite pain, Recurrence, Sickness absence, Disability pension, Musculoskeletal diseases, Register-based, Occupational cohort
ASJC Classification2739 Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Languageen angielski
Recurrent_oswiadczenie.pdf 662.09 KB
Recurrent_tekst.pdf 1.33 MB
Score (nominal)100
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2018 = 1.267; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 2.025 (2) - 2018=2.407 (5)
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