Epidemiology of musculoskeletal complaints and use of health services in Asturias, Spain

Scand J Rheumatol. 1994;23(3):137-41. doi: 10.3109/03009749409103046.


To determine the prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms in the general population and the use of health services of rural and urban population of Asturias, Spain, questionnaires and clinical exploration of 702 subjects were applied. The response rate was 75.6%; 44.9% had presented symptoms related to the locomotor system in the preceding 12 months. The lumbar spine was the most prevalent localisation. The presence of symptoms was related to age, sex, and a lower educational level. The use of health services for rheumatic symptoms was 22.5% of the total sample. The degree of pain was the variable which had greatest influence on the use of health services, whereas the existence of anxiety, depression or difficulties in carrying out daily activities, were not influential in the use of health services. The symptoms referred to the locomotor system in a 12 month period, are present in almost 50% of the general population, and are associated with certain demographic variables. The use of health services for rheumatic symptoms depends fundamentally on the degree of pain of the patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / classification
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Pain
  • Prevalence
  • Rheumatic Diseases / classification
  • Rheumatic Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Rheumatic Diseases / physiopathology
  • Sex Factors
  • Spain
  • Time Factors