Musculoskeletal and neurological injuries associated with work organization among immigrant Latino women manual workers in North Carolina

Am J Ind Med. 2014 Apr;57(4):468-75. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22298. Epub 2014 Jan 16.


Background: This analysis examines the associations of work organization attributes among Latino women in manual occupations with musculoskeletal and neurological injuries.

Methods: Participants included 234 women in western North Carolina. Outcome measures included epicondylitis, rotator cuff syndrome, back pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Independent measures included indicators of job demand, job control, and job support, as well as personal characteristics.

Results: Latina workers commonly experienced epicondylitis, rotator cuff syndrome, back pain, and CTS. Awkward posture and decision latitude were associated with epicondylitis. Rotator cuff syndrome was associated with awkward posture and psychological demand. Awkward posture and psychological demand, and decreased skill variety and job control were related to CTS.

Conclusions: Work organization factors are potentially important for musculoskeletal and neurological injury among vulnerable workers. Research is required to understand the associations of work and health outcomes of these women. Policy initiatives need to consider how work organization affects health.

Keywords: health disparities; immigrant health; women's health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Back Pain / epidemiology*
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Child Care / organization & administration*
  • Construction Industry / organization & administration
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Food-Processing Industry / organization & administration
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Industry / organization & administration*
  • North Carolina / epidemiology
  • Occupational Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries*
  • Tennis Elbow / epidemiology*