The Psychosocial Work Environment and Musculoskeletal Disorders: Design of a Comprehensive Interviewer-Administered Questionnaire

Reiner Rugulies*, Jeffrey Braff, John W. Frank, Birgit Aust, Marion Gillen, Irene H. Yen, Rajiv Bhatia, Genevieve Ames, Deborah R. Gordon, Ira Janowitz, Doug Oman, Bradly P. Jacobs, Paul Blanc

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Psychosocial working conditions are likely to contribute to work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs), but a lack of standardized measurement tools reflects both the theoretical and methodological limitations of current research. Methods: An interdisciplinary team including biomedical, behavioral, and social science researchers used an iterative process to adapt existing instruments for an interviewer-administered questionnaire assessing psychosocial workplace exposure related to musculoskeletal disorders. Results: The resulting questionnaire included measures of psychosocial workplace factors based on two theoretical models (the demand-control-support and the effort-reward imbalance models), supplemented by the additional constructs of "emotional demands," and "experiences of discrimination." Other psychosocial and physical measures selected for questionnaire inclusion address physical workload, sociodemographic and anthropometric characteristics, social relations and life events, health behaviors, and physical and psychological health. Conclusion: Using an interdisciplinary approach facilitated the development of a comprehensive questionnaire inclusive of key measures of psychosocial factors that may play a role in the complex mechanisms leading to WRMSDs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-439
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Volume45
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2004

Keywords

  • Back pain
  • Effort-reward imbalance
  • Epidemiology
  • Ergonomics
  • Industrial psychology
  • Job strain
  • Musculoskeletal injury
  • Neck pain
  • Repetitive strain

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