Research Article| Volume 22, ISSUE 5, P520-532, May 2021

Cross-Sectional Study of Prevalence, Characterization and Impact of Chronic Pain Disorders in Workers

Published:December 09, 2020DOI:


      • Analysis of all chronic pain disorders in workers.
      • New information on the characterization of pain disorders and their impact.
      • Identification of profiles of workers at varying risk of developing chronic pain.


      Chronic pain prevention and treatment constitute a challenge for occupational health The aim of this study was to provide data on workers in a variety of jobs and multiple contexts to determine the prevalence and characteristics of different chronic pain disorders, in view to highlighting possible new targets for preventive actions. 1,008 participants working in 14 French IKEA stores were analyzed in this observational study on the basis of their responses to surveys on their sociodemographic characteristics, psychosocial factors, lifestyle, and pain disorders. The prevalence of chronic pain, moderate-to-severe chronic pain and high-impact chronic pain were 49%, 30%, and 11%, respectively. Chronic pain was predominantly located in the neck and back, and identified mostly as nociceptive, with, for some participants, a neuropathic component (mixed pain). The majority of chronic pain was reported as being due to professional activity, and causing at least one work stoppage during the past year in half of the participants. Jobs that were the most common sources of chronic pain were those with a higher proportion of repetitive gestures, no consecutive days of rest, stress at work, such as cash-register/catering jobs. Overall, this study highlighted profiles at risk of developing or suffering from chronic pain, and several associated factors: ≥40 years old, female sex, overweight/obesity, repetitive gestures, no consecutive days of rest, stress, catastrophism, workplace environment, poor quality of life, and mental state. In conclusion, these data give interesting information on the characteristics of workers with chronic pain and highlight profiles of participants.
      Perspective: This study provides important information about the features of chronic pain in a model of a working population of Western countries. This information can be used to propose preventive actions.

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