WORKPLACE-BASED INTERVENTIONS FOR NECK PAIN IN OFFICE WORKERS: SYSTEMATIC REVIEW AND META-ANALYSIS

Review written by Robin Kerr info

BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES

This robust and statistically accomplished systematic review (SR) and meta-analysis investigated evidence for the effectiveness of workplace-based interventions in the prevention of neck pain in office workers. Previous research highlighted office workers as having the highest prevalence of neck pain across all occupations at 17-21%, with yearly recurrence rates at 34-49%. Neck pain is burdensome on multiple fronts for both employers and the worker, with failure to return to work within 1 to 2 months a risk factor for ongoing disability and unemployment. This SR investigated the effectiveness of workplace interventions in 2 sub groups: office workers with neck pain, and across a general population of office workers with or without neck pain.

METHODS

PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines were followed for the SR and meta-analysis reporting. 35 papers met the inclusion criteria and 27 were interpreted. 7 studies were included in the meta-analysis. Extensive data synthesis and analysis was performed. Risk of bias was solidly controlled.

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The literature review highlighted a lack of studies which met the inclusion criteria, hence the SR was altered from neck disability + neck pain outcomes to neck pain outcomes only. Data was extracted and sub-grouped based on: (a) Type of intervention – exercise or ergonomic input (b) Study population:

  1. General population of office workers (+ or – neck pain),
  2. Office workers who were symptomatic with neck pain.
  3. At risk workers

RESULTS

Effect of Neck/Shoulder Specific Strength and Endurance Exercise

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