Quantifying the Employer Burden of Persistent Musculoskeletal Pain at a Large Employer in the United Kingdom: A Non-interventional, Retrospective Study of Rolls-Royce Employee Data

David Roomes, Lucy Abraham, Rachel Russell, C Beck, K Halsby, Robert Wood, M O'Brien, L Massey, Kim Burton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To quantify the burden of work-relevant persistent musculoskeletal (MSK) pain to a large UK employer. METHODS: A retrospective, longitudinal, analytical cohort study using linked Rolls-Royce data systems. Cases were employees with a MSK-related referral to occupational health; controls were age-, sex-, and job role-matched employees without such a referral. Outcomes were compared during 12 months' follow-up. RESULTS: Overall, 2382 matched case-control pairs were identified (mean age: 46 y; 82% male). Cases took 39,200 MSK-related sickness absence days in total (equating to £50 million in sickness absence costs). Cases took significantly more all-cause sickness absence days than controls (82,341 [£106 million] versus 19,628 [£26 million]; P < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Despite access to extensive occupational health services, the burden of work-relevant persistent MSK pain remains high in Rolls-Royce. There is a clear need to better understand how to effectively reduce this burden.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e145-e154
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Volume64
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022

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