Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2015 Sep;25(3):506-17.
doi: 10.1007/s10926-014-9557-y.

Self-Reported and Tested Function in Health Care Workers With Musculoskeletal Disorders on Full, Partial or Not on Sick Leave

Free PMC article

Self-Reported and Tested Function in Health Care Workers With Musculoskeletal Disorders on Full, Partial or Not on Sick Leave

Tove Ask et al. J Occup Rehabil. .
Free PMC article


Purpose: The aim of this study was to describe self-reported and physically tested function in health care workers with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and to examine how function was associated with work participation.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted. 250 health care workers attended an evaluation where self-reported and physical function were measured. Differences between groups (full sick leave, partial sick leave, not on sick leave/working) were analyzed for categorical data (Chi square exact test) and continuous variables (Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney U tests). Logistic regression analysis was performed to examine which factors were associated with being on sick leave.

Results: Participants on full sick leave had statistically significant poorer function compared to those working and the group on partial sick leave. Logistic regression showed that a reduced level of the physical dimension of SF-12 and a high lift test were significantly related to full sick leave (OR 0.86, p < 0.001) (OR 0.79, p = 0.002). The physical dimension of SF-12 was the only variable that was associated to partial sick leave (OR 0.91, p = 0.005).

Conclusion: Health care workers on full sick leave due to MSDs have reduced function on self-reported and physically tested function, compared to those working despite MSDs, as well as when compared to those on partial sick leave. More knowledge about work ability in occupational sub-groups is needed.

Similar articles

See all similar articles


    1. Picavet HS, Schouten JS. Musculoskeletal pain in the Netherlands: prevalences, consequences and risk groups, the DMC(3)-study. Pain. 2003;102(1–2):167–178. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3959(02)00372-x. - DOI - PubMed
    1. The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration. Sykefraværsstatistikk (Sick leave statistics). 2013 (22 Oct 2013). Available from:
    1. Andersen LL, Clausen T, Mortensen OS, Burr H, Holtermann A. A prospective cohort study on musculoskeletal risk factors for long-term sickness absence among healthcare workers in eldercare. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2012;85(6):615–622. doi: 10.1007/s00420-011-0709-5. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Jansson C, Alexanderson K. Sickness absence due to musculoskeletal diagnoses and risk of diagnosis-specific disability pension: a nationwide Swedish prospective cohort study. Pain. 2013;154(6):933–941. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2013.03.001. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Lund T, Labriola M, Villadsen E. Who is at risk for long-term sickness absence? A prospective cohort study of Danish employees. Work. 2007;28(3):225–230. - PubMed

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources