Purpose Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), sickness absence and premature retirement are highly prevalent among eldercare workers. We conducted a prospective observational workplace study with the main purpose to investigate longitudinal associations between physical and psychosocial working conditions and occurrence of MSD and its consequences (pain-related interference with daily work activities and sickness absence) among Danish eldercare workers. Participants At 20 Danish nursing homes, a total of 941 eldercare workers employed in day and evening shifts were invited to the study. Of those, 553 participated in the baseline measurements, and 441 completed the total period of 12 months follow-up. Findings to date Data were collected from September 2013 to January 2016. Physical and psychosocial working conditions were assessed with multiple methods (observations, accelerometer measurements and work schedules), and multiple levels of information (nursing home, ward, resident and eldercare worker) were incorporated in the data collection. MSD and the consequences hereof were assessed monthly during a 1-year follow-up. Study participants and non-participants were comparable on most of the 27 sociodemographic, health and working condition characteristics at baseline. The exceptions were higher neck-shoulder pain intensity, less sickness absence, more exposure to negative behaviour from residents and a higher percentage of working day shifts and fewer evening shifts among participants compared with non-participants. Future plans The first publications will report on the associations of physical and psychosocial working conditions with occurrence of MSD and its consequences. In addition, the cohort gives the opportunity to investigate the importance of organisational, management and team factors for distribution of physical work demands and development of MSD among the workers. This will provide important knowledge for future workplace interventions to reduce MSD and sickness absence.

Additional Metadata
Keywords emotional demands, healthcare workers, musculoskeletal disorders, patient handling, physical working demands, worksite observations
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019670, hdl.handle.net/1765/110168
Journal BMJ Open
Karstad, K. (Kristina), Jørgensen, A.F.B. (Anette F. B.), Greiner, B.A. (Birgit A.), Burdorf, A, Søgaard, K. (Karen), Rugulies, R. (Reiner), & Holtermann, A. (2018). Danish Observational Study of Eldercare work and musculoskeletal disorderS (DOSES): A prospective study at 20 nursing homes in Denmark. BMJ Open, 8(2). doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019670