Job Stress Reactivity and Work-Related Musculoskeletal Symptoms
UNIFORMED SERVICES UNIV OF THE HEALTH SCIENCES BETHESDA MD BETHESDA United States
Pagination or Media Count:
Research regarding risk factors and correlates of work-related upper extremity WRUEsymptoms and disorders have identified important ergonomic, workplace pychosocial, and individual psychosocial factors in their etiology, exacerbation and maintenance. Elevated levels of job stress have been frequently reported in this population, and epidemiological studies indicate job stress is associated with symptom severity, functional limitations, and lost work time in individuals with a variety of work-related upper extremity disorders. Although plausible pathophysiologic mechanisms exist linking the stress response to WRUE symptoms, little is known about the specific effects of stress on potential musculoskeletal and sympathetic nervous system mediators and how they may impact WRUE symptoms. Additionally, it is unclear if workers with these difficulties respond differently to stressors than asymptomatic workers. The present study was an exploratory investigation designed to address four primary questions 1 do individuals with WRUE symptoms report higher levels of job stress and ergonomic exposure than asymptomatic individuals, 2. do workers with WRUE symptoms respond with greater musculoskeletal, neuroendocrine, and psychological responses than asymptomatic workers, 3can ergonomic, psychosocial and physiological variables significantly discriminate between symptomatic and asymptomatic workers, and, 4 if they can discriminate between the groups, are the discriminating factors associated with general and WRUE-specific clinical outcomes. Female computer-users n 30 16 symptomatic and 14 asymptomatic controls matched for age, body mass index, and job type completed self-report measures of general health status, symptoms, job stress, and ergonomic exposure and kept a 2-week diary of stressful work events and symptoms. At the end of the two-week monitoring period, participants were exposed to a laboratory-based job stress recall task.