Objective: To describe sickness absence in patients with arm, neck and/or shoulder complaints and to evaluate determinants of sickness absence during 6 months follow-up. Methods: A prospective cohort study in physical therapy practice with follow-up measurements at 3 and 6 months. The main outcome measure was the occurrence of sickness absence due to arm, neck and shoulder complaints during 6 months follow-up. Determinants were tested in univariate and multivariate GEE (Generalized Estimating Equations) analysis. Results: At baseline 161 patients (33%) reported absence from work. The multivariate analysis showed that self-reported work-relatedness of complaints, previous musculoskeletal trauma, higher severity of complaints at baseline, more somatization and low decision authority at work were associated with sickness absence during the follow-up period. Conclusion: In physical therapy practice, social and psychological factors (at work) influence the occurrence of sickness absence in patients with arm, neck and/or shoulder complaints. These factors can be taken into account when developing and evaluating interventions to reduce sickness absence among these patients.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Musculoskeletal disorder, Prospective cohort study, Sickness absence, Upper extremity
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.math.2010.04.001, hdl.handle.net/1765/20793
Journal Manual Therapy
Citation
Karels, C.H, Bierma-Zeinstra, S.M, Verhagen, A.P, Koes, B.W, & Burdorf, A. (2010). Sickness absence in patients with arm, neck and shoulder complaints presenting in physical therapy practice: 6 months follow-up. Manual Therapy, 15(5), 476–481. doi:10.1016/j.math.2010.04.001