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Pain management in eldercare employees – the role of managers in addressing musculoskeletal pain and pain-related sickness absence

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posted on 10.05.2022, 23:34 by Charlotte Diana Nørregaard Rasmussen, Jodi OakmanJodi Oakman, Kristina Karstad, Reiner Rugulies, Andreas Holtermann, Matthew Leigh Stevens
Abstract Purpose Managers’ knowledge and behaviors in addressing musculoskeletal pain and sickness absence is not well understood. We investigated the association between managers’ knowledge and behaviours in relation to employees’ pain and their future risk of musculoskeletal pain and associated sickness absence. Methods The prospective study included 535 eldercare employees, and 42 managers from 20 nursing homes. Managers’ self-reported knowledge and behaviors in relation to employees’ pain were grouped using Principal Components Analysis. Eldercare employees reported pain-related sickness absence, and number of days with musculoskeletal pain repeatedly over 1 year. We investigated associations using mixed-effects regression models. Results We identified four types of managers’ knowledge and behaviors: 1) Pain-prevention (actions for prevention of employee pain), 2) Pain-management (actions to assist employees manage pain), 3) Pain-entitlements (communicating entitlements to employees with pain), and 4) Pain-accommodations (ability to facilitate workplace accommodations for employees with pain). The employees of managers with higher scores on knowledge of pain-entitlements reported fewer days of pain-related sickness absence (β = -0.62; 95%CI [-1.14; -0.10]). The employees of managers with higher scores on pain-management were more likely to report low back pain (β = 0.57; 95%CI [0.02; 1.11]). We found several key associations between the knowledge and behaviors measures and pain-related sickness absence (interactions). Conclusion Managers’ knowledge and behaviors in relation to employees’ pain were associated with employees’ future musculoskeletal pain and sickness absence. The relationships are complex, suggesting that a multifaceted approach is needed to ensure that managers are adequately informed on how to manage and accommodate employees with musculoskeletal pain to reduce sickness absence.

History

Publication Date

01/12/2022

Journal

BMC Public Health

Volume

22

Issue

1

Article Number

432

Publisher

BioMed Central

ISSN

1471-2458

Rights Statement

© The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.