Women with Fibromyalgia: Perceived Exertion at Work

Perceived exertion at work in women with fibromyalgia: Explanatory factors and comparison with healthy women

By Annie Palstam, et al.

Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: To investigate perceived exertion at work in women with fibromyalgia.

DESIGN: A controlled cross-sectional multi-centre study. Subjects and methods: Seventy-three women with fibromyalgia and 73 healthy women matched by occupation and physical workload were compared in terms of perceived exertion at work (0–14), muscle strength, 6-min walk test, symptoms rated by Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), work status (25–100%), fear avoidance work beliefs (0–42), physical activity at work (7–21) and physical workload (1–5). Spearman’s correlation coefficient and linear regression analysis were conducted.

RESULTS: Perceived exertion at work was significantly higher in the fibromyalgia group than in the reference group (p?=?0.002), while physical activity at work did not differ between the groups.

  • Physical capacity was lower and symptom severity higher in fibromyalgia compared with references (p?<?0.05).

  • In fibromyalgia, perceived exertion at work showed moderate correlation with physical activity at work, physical workload and fear avoidance work beliefs (rs?=?0.53–0.65, p?<?0.001) and a fair correlation with anxiety (rs?=?0.26, p?=?0.027).

  • Regression analysis indicated that the physical activity at work and fear avoidance work beliefs explained 50% of the perceived exertion at work.

CONCLUSION: Women with fibromyalgia perceive an elevated exertion at work, which is associated with physical work-related factors and factors related to fear and anxiety.

Source: Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, July 30, 2014. By Annie Palstam, Anette Larsson , Jan Bjersing, Monika Löfgren , Malin Ernberg, Indre Bileviciute-Ljungar, Bijar Ghafouri , Anna Sjörs, Britt Larsson, Björn Gerdle, Eva Kosek and Kaisa Mannerkorpi. Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Göteborg, Sweden.

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