Psychosocial work factors, physical work load and associated musculoskeletal symptoms among home care workers

Scand J Psychol. 1995 Jun;36(2):113-29. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9450.1995.tb00973.x.


This study was based on a questionnaire and included a group of home care workers (HCW) (n = 305) and a reference group of municipal employees (n = 694). The relationship between the work environment and musculoskeletal symptoms was analysed. The HCW were less satisfied with their control over their work and stimulus from their work and had a higher physical work load and prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms, compared with the reference group. The Rate Ratio (RR) of neck and shoulder symptoms among HCW was 83 and 54%, respectively, higher among those reporting a "high" psychological work load compared with those reporting a "low" load. The highest RR for a single risk indicator was 2.5, and this concerned low-back symptoms among HCW who often worked with twisted postures. A combination of "poor" psychosocial work environment and "high" physical work load produced the highest RR for work-related neck (RR = 2.57) and shoulder (RR = 2.13) symptoms.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Home Health Aides / psychology*
  • Home Health Aides / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / psychology*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Workload / psychology*