The high prevalence of chronic pain (duration >3 months) reported from different populations indicates a public health problem. Knowledge of the long-term course of chronic non-malignant pain is incomplete and scarce.This paper describes a follow-up of a cohort recruited from a survey in the general population. The cohort (n=214) consisted initially of individuals with widespread or located (neck-shoulder) pain or without chronic pain. The individuals were initially examined and replied to questionnaires on pain, social factors, lifestyle, medication and health care after two and 12 years. The deaths during the period were obtained from the population register. Complete data exist for 77% of the eligible individuals.After 12 years one-third of the individuals initially without pain reported chronic pain, and among those with initial chronic pain 85% still reported chronic pain. The number of painful areas was the strongest predictor of chronic pain 12 years later (OR 15.8; >3 locations vs. 0) whereas a social factor (having a close friend) decreased the risk (OR 0.44). The onset of chronic pain during the same period was related to the physical workload (work with bent positions; OR 5.31; yes vs. no). Mortality was significantly higher in the group initially reporting widespread pain compared with the other groups. The chronicity of widespread chronic pain supports early and intense intervention among individuals with located pain. The association between chronic widespread pain and increased mortality needs further investigation but may deepen the view of chronic pain as a public health problem.
Instruments related to work are commonly illuminated from an ill-health perspective. The need for a concise and useable instrument in workplace health promotion governed the aim of this paper which is to present the development process and quality assessment of the Work Experience Measurement Scale (WEMS). A survey, using a questionnaire based on established theories regarding work and health, and a focus group study were performed in hospital settings in 2005 and 2006 respectively. A Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was used to statistically develop a model, and focus group interviews were made to compare quantitative and qualitative results for convergence and corroboration. The PCA resulted in a six factor model of dimensions containing items regarding management, reorganization, internal work experience, pressure of time, autonomy and supportive working conditions. In the analysis of the focus group study three themes appeared and their underlying content was compared to, and matched, with the dimensions of the PCA. The reliability, shown by weighted kappa values, ranged from 0.36 to 0.71, and adequate Cronbach's Alpha values of the dimensions were all above 0.7. The study validity, indicated by discriminant validity, with correlation values that ranged from 0.10 to 0.39, in relation to the content validity appeared to be good when the theoretical content of the WEMS was compared to the content of similar instruments. The WEMS presents a multidimensional picture of work experience. Its theoretical base and the psychometric properties give support for applicability and offer a possibility to measure trends in the work experience over time in health care settings. One intention of the WEMS is to stimulate the ability of organizations and the employees themselves to take action on improving their work experience. The conciseness of the instrument is intended to increase its usability.
The aim of this study was to explore healthcare workers' opinions on workplace related health resources relevant to promotion of their health.
16 registered nurses and 19 assistant nurses, from a medical emergency ward at a medium sized hospital in the south of Sweden, participated in the study.
Eight focus group interviews were conducted, the material was condensed and conventional qualitative content analysis was used to elicit and identify patterns in the expressed opinions of the participants.
The analysis yielded four themes that were labelled the reward, the team, the mission and the context. An explanatory model was constructed consisting of concentric circles, with the reward at the core. The qualitative analysis also revealed two divergent patterns; some of the participants associated positive health with stability while others referred to flexibility.
The results from this study have contributed to the body of knowledge regarding salutogenic health indicators in the field of work and health research in particular as well as in health promotion in general. The findings show that individuals can have diverse responses to any given work situation, and this should be taken into account before implementation of salutogenic health promotion programs.
Widespread chronic pain has been related to disability and loss of quality of life, but in a few epidemiological studies also to increased mortality. The aim of this study was to further investigate the relationship between chronic pain, lifestyle factors and all cause mortality.
A random sample of an adult (age 25-74) Swedish population (n = 1609) responded to a comprehensive questionnaire on pain, other symptoms, lifestyle, work and socioeconomic factors in 1988. Mortality data for this cohort between 1988 and 2002 were analysed. Survival analysis (Kaplan-Meier) and Cox proportional regression were used to study initially reported factors influencing survival.
Individuals with widespread chronic pain showed an increased mortality risk (hazard ratio, HR = 1.95, CI: 1.26-3.03) compared to the group without chronic pain. Death due to cardiovascular disease accounted for the increased mortality. Adjustment for lifestyle factors eliminated the excess risk.
Increased mortality among individuals with widespread chronic pain is related to factors like smoking, sleep disturbances and low physical activity. The result emphasises the importance of including lifestyle factors in a cognitive-behavioural rehabilitation process. It remains to be shown whether health promotion activities aimed at lifestyle could change mortality among individuals with chronic pain.
There is a lack of information on positive work factors among health care workers.
To explore salutogenic work-related factors among primary health care employees.
Questionnaire to all employees (n?=?599) from different professions in public and private primary health care centers in one health care district in Sweden. The questionnaire, which had a salutogenic perspective, included information on self-rated health from the previously validated SHIS (Salutogenic Health Indicator Scale), psychosocial work environment and experiences, recovery, leadership, social climate, reflection and work-life balance.
The response rate was 84%. A multivariable linear regression model, with SHIS as the dependent variable, showed three significant predictors. Recovery had the highest relationship to SHIS (ß=?0.34), followed by experience of work-life balance (ß=?0.25) and work experiences (ß=?0.20). Increased experience of recovery during working hours related to higher self-rated health independent of recovery outside work.
Individual experiences of work, work-life balance and, most importantly, recovery seem to be essential areas for health promotion. Recovery outside the workplace has been studied previously, but since recovery during work was shown to be of great importance in relation to higher self-rated health, more research is needed to explore different recovery strategies in the workplace.
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"The importance of awareness, support and inner strength to balance everyday life" - a qualitative study about women's experiences of a workplace health promotion program in human service organizations in Sweden.
In many European countries, women have a higher sickness absence rate than men. Women also report higher levels of work-life conflict, which has a negative impact on women's self-perceived health. Interventions studies on work-life balance literature are scarce. This research adds knowledge about work-life balance by examining female employees' experiences of a newly developed intervention program, the BELE program (Balance in Everyday Life Empowerment program), aiming to enhance the work-life balance and wellbeing of female employees.
All participants in the BELE program were included in the sample (n?=?55) of the study. The methods used for gathering data were focus group interviews (n?=?8) and semi-structured individual interviews (n?=?8). A qualitative content analysis was used for the analyses.
The results showed that a majority of the participants experienced a process of change for enhancement of wellbeing and balance in their everyday life when taking part in the BELE program. In the analyses, three main themes emerged. Reflecting and strengthening inner resource, Trying to change everyday patterns and habits and Experiencing more balance and well-being.
The results point out the importance of awareness and reflection on everyday life to promote work-life balance and wellbeing. The BELE program was described as a wakeup call to one's own life and as an enhancer of empowerment processes and equality in the homes. Moreover, the results showed the need for health education in the workplace focusing on both work and private life to enhance balance and wellbeing among female employees'. The findings indicate that it is important to work at individual and group levels in work-life balance interventions and not merely at the organizational level or in the workplace setting.
BACKGROUND: The course of pain at a specific region such as the lower back has previously been shown as well as for generalized pain. However we have not found any report on the course of pain from various different specific regions. The aim of this investigation was to study the one-year transition of reported pain in different body locations. METHODS: From a general population 14,555 men and women, 46-68 years, responded to an extensive health questionnaire including the standardized Nordic questionnaire. The population represented 27% of the total population within the age group in Malmö, Sweden. At the one year follow-up 12,607 responded to the questionnaire, yielding a response rate of 87%. The one year prevalence of long-lasting pain and the pattern of pain reporting from different regions were studied for men and women. RESULTS: The one-year prevalence of long-lasting neck pain was 14% (95% CI 13-15) among men and 25% (95% CI 24-26) among women at baseline and 15% (95% CI 14-16) for the men and 23% (95% CI 22-24) for the women at follow-up. Of those reporting neck pain "all the time" at baseline, 48% of the men and 54% of the women also reported neck pain "all the time" at the one-year follow-up. At the follow-up neck pain was reported as present "often" by 43% of the men and 47% of the women who reported neck pain "often" at baseline. Similar transition pattern were found for neck, shoulders, elbow/wrist/hand and lower back symptoms, as well as consistent prevalence rates. CONCLUSION: The one-year transition pattern of reported pain was similar in different body regions and among men and women. Furthermore the prevalence rates of long-lasting pain in the population were consistent at baseline and the follow-up. The findings of similar transition patterns support the interpretation of long-lasting pain as a generalized phenomenon rather than attributed to specific exposure. This may have implications for future pain research.
BACKGROUND: Working life is an important arena in most people's lives, and the working line concept is important for the development of welfare in a society. For young people, the period before permanent establishment in working life has become longer during the last two decades. Knowledge about attitudes towards work can help us to understand young people's transition to the labour market. Adolescents are the future workforce, so it seems especially important to notice their attitudes towards work, including attitudes towards the welfare system. The aim of this study was to describe and analyse upper secondary school students' work attitudes, and to explore factors related to these attitudes. METHODS: The sample consisted of 606 upper secondary school students. They all received a questionnaire including questions about quality of life (QOL), sense of coherence (SOC), subjective health and attitudes towards work. The response rate was 91%. A factor analysis established two dimensions of work attitudes. Multivariate analyses were carried out by means of logistic regression models. RESULTS: Work ethics (WE) and general work attitudes (GWA) were found to be two separate dimensions of attitudes towards work. Concerning WE the picture was similar regardless of gender or study programme. Males in theoretical programmes appeared to have more unfavourable GWA than others. Multivariate analyses revealed that good QOL, high SOC and good health were significantly related to positive WE, and high SOC was positively related to GWA. Being female was positively connected to WE and GWA, while studying on a practical programme was positively related to GWA only. Among those who received good parental support, GWA seemed more favourable. CONCLUSION: Assuming that attitudes towards work are important to the working line concept, this study points out positive factors of importance for the future welfare of the society. Individual factors such as female gender, good QOL, high SOC and good health as well as support from both parents, positive experience of school and work contacts related positively to attitudes towards work. Further planning and supportive work have to take these factors into account.
To present validity data for the Work Experience Measurement Scale (WEMS), an instrument measuring multifaceted work experience from a salutogenic health resource perspective as a contrast to the more common pathogenic risk perspective, by exploring WEMS relationship to established measurements that are positively related to health and work. A salutogenic perspective focuses on finding conditions and resources in life, for example at work, that can enhance the individual's health and strength, instead of those causing illness and weakness.
This study was carried out in 2009 at a Swedish hospital with a web-based survey (WEMS) to 770 employees. Different occupational groups at the hospital participated. Additional questionnaires used at the same time were the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES-9), the Salutogenic Health Indicator Scale (SHIS), the General Self-Efficacy scale (GSE), and three questions about self-rated health, general well-being, and quality of life.
Cronbach's Alpha of WEMS sub-indices were in the interval of 0.85-0.96. Convergent validity and discriminant validity of WEMS and its sub-indices were shown to be satisfying by correlations. In addition, WEMS demonstrated the ability to discriminate between groups. WEMS sub-indices discriminated even better between groups than the total index.
The WEMS proved to be a workplace health promotion questionnaire that was able to measure experiences of work from a salutogenic perspective. The WEMS has a potential of being a useful tool in workplace health promotion to enhance positive human capabilities and resources to improve work performance.
The impact of positive social relationships on the health of municipal employees in the elder care sector in Sweden needs further examination.
To explore the association between health and relationships among elderly care employees using a salutogenic perspective.
Survey of all employees (n = 997) in special housing, home care and Disabled Support and Services in a Swedish municipality. The questionnaire, which had a salutogenic perspective, included information on self-rated health from the previously validated SHIS (Salutogenic Health Indicator Scale), psychosocial work environment and experiences, social climate, and health-promoting workplace relationships.
The response rate was 69% . Results of a multivariable linear regression model showed four significant predictors of health: general work experiences, colleague belongingness and positive relationships with managers and care recipients. In another model, colleague belongingness was significantly related to satisfaction with care recipients, work, length of employment as well as general work experiences and relationships with managers.
Strengthening of positive work relationships, not only between workmates but also with managers and care recipients, seems to be an essential area for employee health promotion. Colleague belongingness may be deepened by development of a positive work climate, including satisfactory work experiences, positive manager relationships and a stable work force.