Health-Related Quality of Life Associated with Severity and Age in Occupational and Physical Therapists with Musculoskeletal Disorders



The purpose of the study was to evaluate the association between health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) in rehabilitation professionals. A national, cross-sectional survey study of occupational therapists (OTs) and physical therapists (PTs) was performed. Health-related quality of life was assessed with the Short Form-12, v. 2 (SF-12). WMSDs were assessed using a case definition based on pain intensity, frequency, and duration. Multiple linear regression analyses were used to examine the relationship between WMSDs and HRQoL. The response rate was 76% (1,486 eligible surveys returned). Prevalence of moderate WMSDs was 24.5% among therapists. Minor and moderate WMSDs were associated with declines in physical and mental HRQoL. WMSDs impacted physical HRQoL more in older OTs/PTs than in younger workers. However, WMSDs affected mental HRQoL in younger OTs/PTs to a greater extent than older OTs/PTs. WMSDs are associated with declines in HRQoL. These declines are mediated by severity and age.

Darragh A, Campo M

Keywords: health-related quality of life, work-related musculoskeletal disorders, occupational therapist, physical therapist, moving and handling

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